This Morning in Metals: U.S. goods and services trade deficit hits $49.4B in April

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This morning in metals news, the U.S.’s trade deficit in goods and services rose in April, the China Iron and Steel Association expects Vale to ramp up iron ore exports to China this year and General Motors CEO Mary Barra expects the automaker’s production levels to return to nearly pre-coronavirus levels by the end of June.

U.S. posts April trade deficit of $49.4B

The U.S. trade deficit in goods and services reached $49.4 billion in April, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported, up by $7.1 billion from the previous month.

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“The declines in exports and imports that continued in April were, in part, due to the impact of COVID-19, as many businesses were operating at limited capacity or ceased operations completely, and the movement of travelers across borders was restricted,” the BEA said. “The full economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be quantified in the trade statistics for April because the impacts are generally embedded in source data and cannot be separately identified.”

Vale expected to increase iron ore shipments to China this year

Amid a decline in demand elsewhere in the world, Brazilian miner Vale is expected to increase its iron ore shipments to China this year, the China Iron and Steel Association said, according to a Reuters report.

Brazil is China’s second-largest iron ore supplier, according to the report.

Auto production inching closer to pre-coronavirus levels

GM CEO Mary Barra said the automaker’s production levels will return to nearly pre-coronavirus levels by the end of June, CNBC reported.

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GM, like Ford and Fiat Chrysler, suspended production in March at its facilities across North America in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The automakers began to bring production back online May 18.

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