This Morning in Metals: U.S. steel imports down 22% this year

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This morning in metals news, U.S. steel imports fell 22% through the first three months of the year, Posco’s first-quarter profits were down 44% and Alcoa reported its quarterly earnings.

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Steel imports down 22%

The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported U.S. steel imports through the first three months of the year totaled 6.4 million tons, down 21.7% compared with the first quarter of 2019.

Finished steel import market share was approximately 17% in March, according to AISI.

Posco profits down

Steelmaker Posco’s Q1 2020 profits dropped 44% compared to Q1 2019, MarketWatch reported.

The firm’s net profit fell to 434.7 billion Korean won (or $352.4 million).

Alcoa takes steps to COVID-19 ‘uncertainty’

Alcoa this week released its quarterly earnings results, reporting Q1 net income of $80 million, up from a loss of $303 million in Q4 2019.

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“While we reported a solid first quarter with a strong cash balance, the world has fundamentally shifted due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, and we are taking decisive actions to address this crisis,” Alcoa President and CEO Roy Harvey said.

“Most importantly, we are focusing on the care and safety of our workforce, our operations, and our communities. We have implemented numerous steps for business continuity and are acting quickly to protect financial stability.”

Alcoa announced it would shutter the remaining 230,000 metric tons of “uncompetitive smelting capacity” at its Intalco smelter, located in Ferndale, Washington.

“The full curtailment, which includes 49,000 metric tons of earlier-curtailed capacity, is expected to be complete by the end of July 2020,” the firm said. “The smelter recorded a net loss of $24 million in the first quarter of 2020.”

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