This Morning in Metals: Aluminum Association calls for reforms to aluminum tariff exclusion system

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This morning in metals news, the Aluminum Association petitioned the Department of Commerce for changes to the aluminum tariff exclusion system, Freeport-McMoRan reported losses in Q1 and Anglo American production levels fell in Q1.

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Aluminum Association wants aluminum tariff exclusion reform

In a letter to Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, the Aluminum Association called for reforms to the aluminum tariff exclusion system.

“Under current rules set by the department, importers can request an exclusion from paying the 10 percent Section 232 tariff on specific aluminum products entering the United States,” the Aluminum Association said in a release. “The Commerce Department has granted tariff exclusions for huge volumes of aluminum can stock, plate, sheet, foil and other products — far exceeding historical import volumes and U.S. market demand. This has created a market dynamic that gives foreign competitors an unfair advantage over domestic producers.”

Freeport-McMoRan takes Q1 losses

Freeport-McMoRan reported Q1 losses of $491 million, compared with gains of $31 million in Q1 2019.

The firm reported copper production of 731 million pounds, down from 780 million pounds in Q1 2019. Gold production fell to 156 million pounds in Q1 from 166 million pounds in Q1 2019.

Anglo American copper production down 9%

Meanwhile, Anglo American reported its copper production fell 9% in Q1 on a year-over-year basis, down to 147,000 tons.

Platinum production fell 7% to 441,000 ounces, while palladium production fell 7% to 303,000 ounces.

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“The onset of varying degrees of lockdown or distancing measures in a number of our operating countries towards the end of the quarter, combined with the impact of longwall moves in our Metallurgical Coal business, led to 4% lower production compared to the same period of 2019, despite continued strong iron ore production at Minas-Rio,” Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani said.

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