This Morning in Metals: Germany’s Thyssenkrupp cites ‘difficult economic environment’ in latest earnings report

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This morning in metals news, Thyssenkrupp’s earnings fell last quarter, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced affirmative preliminary circumvention rulings regarding imports of corrosion-resistant steel products and Brazil’s Vale has been overtaken as the world’s No. 1 iron ore producer.

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Thyssenkrupp adjusted EBIT falls to €50 million

Germany’s Thyssenkrupp reported its financial results for Q1 of fiscal year 2019-2020, noting its adjusted EBIT fell to €50 million from €217 million the previous year, citing “the situation at Steel Europe and a general weakening of the automotive market.”

“The latest figures are not great,” CEO Martina Merz said. “But we are convinced that we are on the right track. A decision on the Elevator transaction is imminent, the negotiations with codetermination representatives on the Steel strategy are making progress, and we are improving our performance. The bottom line: We are moving in the right direction.”

Thyssenkrupp has put its profitable elevator business up for sale. Reuters reported comments by a board member of rival elevator manufacturer Schindler, who said the Swiss company would launch an antitrust lawsuit if Thyssenkrupp merges its elevator business with that of Finnish firm Kone.

DOC announces affirmative preliminary circumvention rulings

The U.S. Department of Commerce this week announced preliminary circumvention rulings related to imports of corrosion-resistant steel products from China and Taiwan.

“Commerce preliminarily determined that Chinese steel substrate shipped to Costa Rica, Malaysia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for minor processing, and then exported to the United States as CORE, is circumventing the antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) orders on CORE from China,” the DOC said.

“Similarly, Commerce preliminarily determined that Taiwanese steel substrate shipped to Malaysia for minor processing, and then exported to the United States as CORE, is circumventing the AD order on CORE from Taiwan.”

Vale no longer No. 1 iron ore producer

Brazil’s Vale has been overtaken by Rio Tinto as the world’s No. 1 iron ore producer, Reuters reported.

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Vale reported its iron ore fines production totaled 302.0 million tons in 2019, down 21.5% from the previous year, as the January dam breach at its Corrego do Feijao mine significantly impacted operations and prompted wholesale reassessments of the firm’s operations.

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