This Morning in Metals: Oil prices tick up on OPEC output cut expectations

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This morning in metals news, oil prices ticked up Wednesday, the European Steel Association welcomed the start of E.U.-U.K. trade negotiations, and Century Aluminum recently released its Q4 and full-year 2019 financial results.

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Oil prices rise midweek

According to Reuters, the Brent crude price made gains Wednesday on expectations of additional output cuts by OPEC.

Brent crude was up 1.7% as of 2:42 GMT, Reuters reported, while West Texas Intermediate was up 2.2%.

EUROFER welcomes E.U.-U.K. trade talks

As talks regarding the future trade relationship between the U.K. and E.U. are set to begin, the European Steel Association outlined what it would like to see come out of the negotiation process.

“Maintaining a level playing field and reciprocity should be the leading principles of the negotiations for both sides,” EUROFER said in a prepared statement. “EUROFER hopes the EU and UK will agree on solutions that ensure the continuity of the logistical procedures involved in the movement of goods between the two countries. Mutual market access, as well as alignment of standards on state aid, competition policy, state-owned enterprises, employment, environment, climate change, relevant tax matters and other regulatory measures and practices, is vital.”

Century Aluminum reports Q4 net loss of $4.8M

Century Aluminum recently released its Q4 and full-year 2019 financial results, reporting a Q4 net loss of $4.8 million and a full-year net loss of $80.8 million.

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“The external environment improved during the last several months of 2019 and into early 2020,” President and CEO Michael Bless said. “We had begun to see a pickup in industrial activity in several key global markets; the recently signed U.S./Sino trade agreement should support those trends. Global metal inventories remain low, though they had risen through the second half of the year; there were some positive signals in late 2019.  The commodity price had, in response to these fundamental improvements, manifested an upswing in sentiment.  The temporary deterioration in global economic activity caused by the virus outbreak has weighed heavily on the market price of industrial commodities.”

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