This Morning in Metals: Liberty Steel idles Georgetown steelworks

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This morning in metals news, Liberty Steel announced it would idled its Georgetown steelworks in South Carolina, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has implemented new procedures regarding rules of origin petitions related to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and Vale released its Q1 production results.

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Liberty idles Georgetown steel plant

Citing market conditions on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic, Liberty Steel announced today it would idle its Georgetown steelworks.

“LIBERTY Steel Georgetown is to be placed under a ‘care and maintenance’ regime, enabling it to be re-opened swiftly once the economic environment improves,” Liberty said in a release.

“Approximately 130 employees and contractors will be temporarily laid off or redeployed, with a small number of support function roles put under review. During this period a skeleton staff will be kept on to manage the care and maintenance programme.

“In the meantime, all customer orders for wire rod will be fulfilled from LIBERTY’s steelworks in Peoria, Illinois.”

CBP implements procedures for USMCA rules of origin petitions

The CBP has rolled out procedures for submission of petitions regarding USMCA rules of origin.

“USTR has also announced the procedures for the submission of petitions by North American producers of passenger vehicles or light trucks to use the alternative staging regime for the USMCA rules of origin for automotive goods,” the United States Trade Representative said in a release. “These procedures will be published in the Federal Register available HERE.”

Vale releases Q1 productions results

Brazil’s Vale recently released its production results for Q1, noting its businesses suffered “limited impact” as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“Vale’s iron ore fines production totalled 59.6 Mt, therefore below the production guidance of 63-68 Mt for 1Q20,” the company said. “The main causes for that result are: (i) losses of 4.5 Mt in the Northern System from (a) unscheduled maintenance of the long distance conveyor belt at S11D; (b) concentrated, stronger-than-usual weather-related conditions, especially in March; (c) operational restrictions at the Northern Range connected to the postponement of the startup of the new Morro 1 mining section; (ii) losses of 1.8 Mt from lower third-party purchases, due to reduced availability caused by the heavy rains in the southeast of Brazil; and (iii) losses of 2.1 Mt from a number of operational issues in the Southeastern System, mainly in the Itabira Complex.”

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