This Morning in Metals: Section 232 auto tariff deadline passes — with no decision

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Steven Husk/Adobe Stock

This morning in metals news, trade experts cited by Reuters say the U.S. might have to find another route to impose tariffs on imported automobiles, Japan’s crude steel output dropped in October and U.S. steel prices have started to show some signs of upward momentum.

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Section 232 Auto Deadline Flies By

Last week, a self-imposed deadline for the Trump administration’s Section 232 investigation of imports of automobiles (and automotive parts) passed without an announcement of a decision (either to delay the decision, or to impose or not impose tariffs).

The self-imposed deadline fell late last week — the Trump administration had already delayed the decision once earlier in the year — but no decision was announced.

According to trade experts cited by Reuters, the U.S. might now have to look elsewhere other than Section 232 if it wants to impose tariffs on automobiles.

Japan’s Steel Output Falls

Japan’s October steel output fell 4.9% on a year-over-year basis, Reuters reported.

Japan is the world’s third-largest steel producer. According to Reuters, the drop marked the fourth straight month of production declines.

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U.S. Steel Prices Show Some Bounce

Some wondered whether U.S. steel prices had reached a bottom.

While it remains to be seen whether that is truly the case, prices have shown some signs of recovery over the past month.

According to MetalMiner IndX data, U.S. HRC is up 2.61% month over month, while U.S. CRC is up 1.89%. The U.S. HDG price is up 3.36%.

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