This Morning in Metals: Copper Rises as U.S.-China Trade Talks Resume

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This morning in metals news, the copper price got a boost from optimism stemming from the resumption of trade discussions between the world’s top two economies, the CEO of Australia’s Fortescue was bullish about the Chinese steel sector and British Steel received a £100 million government loan.

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Copper Price Picks Up

As it has been wont to do throughout the U.S.-China trade talk saga, the copper price was supported by Wednesday’s restart of trade talks in Beijing between the two economic superpowers.

Three-month LME copper moved up 0.2% Wednesday to $6,426 per ton, Reuters reported.

Fortescue CEO Optimistic About Chinese Steel Production

While some economic indicators suggest the Chinese economy is slowing down, China’s steel sector does not appear to be following that trend, according to Fortescue CEO Elizabeth Gaines.

Fortescue is one of the world’s largest iron ore producers. In 2018, China posted a record 928.3 million tons of crude steel production.

“When it comes to China, what we’ve really seen, particularly in that first quarter, is strong growth in steel production,” Gaines said while appearing on CNBC’s “Capital Connection.”

Gaines added that based on conversations with customers in China, she expects steel production growth in China to come in at 3-4% this year.

British Steel Gets £100M Loan

The BBC reported British Steel has secured a £100 million loan from the government to pay off its E.U. carbon bill.

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As the report notes, amid Brexit uncertainty, the European Commission last year opted to suspend U.K. firms’ access to free carbon permits — which can be used to pay for emissions bill or can be traded to raise money — under the E.U. emissions trading system.

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