This Morning in Metals: U.S. trade deficit shrank by 1.7% in 2019

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This morning in metals news, the U.S. trade deficit fell for the first time in six years last year, ArcelorMittal released its Q4 and full-year 2019 financials, and two Novelis plants in Europe gained ASI certifications.

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U.S. trade deficit falls in 2019

According to data released Wednesday by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the U.S. trade deficit fell 1.7% in 2019 compared to 2018.

The decline marked the first retreat of the deficit in six years.

With China, the deficit decreased by $73.9 billion to $345.6 billion in 2019.

ArcelorMittal releases Q4 results

ArcelorMittal reported a 2019 net loss of $2.5 billion, compared with earnings of $5.15 billion in 2018.

“2019 was a very tough year, clearly reflected in our significantly reduced profitability,” ArcelorMittal CEO and Chairman Lakshmi Mittal said. “However, our cash generation remained strong helping to reduce net debt to the lowest ever level. This demonstrates the contribution of our Action2020 programme which was designed to ensure ArcelorMittal can be cash flow positive through all aspects of the steel cycle. We expect to make further deleveraging progress this year.”

The company reported a net loss of $1.88 billion in Q4 and sales of $15.5 billion (which marked a decline from the $18.32 billion in sales during Q4 2018).

Novelis’ Europe operations gain ASI certifications

Atlanta-based Novelis announced its European operations have been granted Aluminum Stewardship Initiative (ASI) certifications.

The firm’s plant in Ohle, Germany, was awarded the Performance Standard and Chain of Custody Certification by the Aluminum Stewardship Initiative (ASI).

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In addition, Novelis’ Alunorf joint venture in Neuss, Germany, was awarded the ASI Chain of Custody Certification.

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