This Morning in Metals: U.S. raw steel production up 1.9% in 2019

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Pavel Ignatov/Adobe Stock

This morning in metals news, U.S. raw steel production in 2019 increased 1.9% over 2018, Rio Tinto announced plans to resume operations at its Richards Bay Minerals site in South Africa and the U.S. Department of Commerce made an affirmative preliminary antidumping duty determination related to collated steel staples from China.

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U.S. raw steel production rises 1.9% in 2019

U.S. raw steel production in 2019 (through Dec. 28) totaled 96.3 million tons, marking a 1.9% year-over-year increase, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI).

Capacity utilization rate for the period in question reached 80.2%, up from 78.2% for the same period in 2018.

Rio Tinto to resume operations at Richards Bay Minerals

Miner Rio Tinto recently announced plans to resume its operations at its Richards Bay Minerals site in South Africa.

“Rio Tinto has today started the process of resuming operations at Richards Bay Minerals (RBM) in South Africa,” Rio Tinto said. “This follows discussions led by the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Sihle Zikalala, involving all stakeholders focused on securing stability in order to address the issues in the community and provide the stable environment necessary for RBM to resume operations.

“A phased restart is now in progress across the operation, with RBM expected to return to full operations in early January, leading to regular production in early 2020. Rio Tinto is contacting customers who were advised of a force majeure in their supply that this has now been lifted. Rio Tinto will review the restart of the Zulti South project after normalisation of operations at RBM.”

Rio Tinto said titanium dioxide slag production for 2019 is expected to fall at the lower end of its previous forecast of between 1.2 million and 1.4 million tons.

DOC announces antidumping duty determination on collated steel staples

The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) issued a preliminary antidumping duty determination related to imports of collated steel staples from China.

Keep up to date on everything going on in the world of trade and tariffs via MetalMiner’s Trade Resource Center.

According to the DOC, the product in question has been dumped into the U.S. at a margin of 301.64%.

Imports of collated steel staples from China amounted to a value of $88.8 million in 2018, according to the DOC.

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