This Morning in Metals: China’s Daily Crude Steel Output Fell in December

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This morning in metals news, China’s daily crude steel output slipped in December, miner Rio Tinto reported its fourth-quarter production results and Luxembourg-based Tenaris purchased a large stake in the Saudi Steel Pipe Company.

Steel Output Slides

China’s daily steel output for December fell to its lowest level since March, according to Reuters.
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Daily output fell 5% from November to December, according to the report.

Rio Reports Q4 Results

Miner Rio Tinto reported Q4 2018 Pilbara iron ore shipments and production fell 3% and 1%, respectively, on a year-over-year basis.
However, copper production in Q4 jumped 20% year over year.
“We delivered a solid operational performance in the final quarter of 2018, in particular across our copper assets,” Rio Tinto CEO J-S Jacques said. “During the year, we further strengthened our asset portfolio, continuing to invest in high quality growth. 2018 saw the early completion of Amrun, the deployment of AutoHaul™, the Koodaideri and Robe River investments and the signing of the power agreement at Oyu Tolgoi. Meanwhile, we completed disposals of $8.6 billion, including the Grasberg mine in Indonesia and our remaining coal assets.”

Tenaris Buys Stake in Saudi Steel Pipe Company

Luxembourg-based firm Tenaris S.A. has purchased a 47.79% stake in the Saudi Steel Pipe Company.
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The stake was purchased at a cost of $141 million. The Saudi firm has an annual manufacturing capacity of 360,000 tons.

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