This Morning in Metals: Steel import permit applications drop 47.5% in February

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This morning in metals news, steel import permit applications plunged in February, buyers are lining up to buy British Steel’s plant in France and Vietnam is ramping up purchases of U.S. agricultural goods in the hopes of avoiding tariffs.

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Steel import permit applications down 47.5%

Applications for steel import permits totaled 1.82 million tons in February, down 47.5% compared with January import permit tonnage, the American Iron and Steel Institute reported.

Finished steel import permits for heavy structural shapes and tin plate saw large increases in February (45% and 20%, respectively).

Firms lining up for British Steel’s Hayange plant

As MetalMiner’s Stuart Burns wrote today, China’s Jingye Group reached a deal to take over the struggling British Steel, the U.K.’s second-largest steelmaker (which was forced into liquidation last May).

However, the deal did not include the company’s French plant in Hayange.

According to the Financial Times, four offers have come in to buy the firm’s Hayange plant, from ArcelorMittal, Saarstahl, Liberty House and Ascoval.

Vietnam commits to $3B in U.S. agricultural purchases

On the tariff front, Bloomberg reported Vietnam has agreed to buy $3 billion in U.S. agricultural goods in an effort to avoid additional U.S. tariffs.

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The U.S. Census Bureau reported Vietnam sent exports worth $66.7 billion to the U.S. in 2019 compared with imports from the U.S. worth $10.9 billion, good for a U.S. trade deficit with Vietnam of $55.8 billion.

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