This Morning in Metals: June steel imports drop to 1.3M metric tons

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This morning in metals news: U.S. steel imports fell in June; Freeport-McMoRan reported its Q2 and first-half results; and Norsk Hydro’s underlying EBIT for the second quarter gained compared with Q2 2019.

U.S. steel imports decline in June

U.S. imports of steel reached 1.3 million metric tons in June, according to Census Bureau data, down from 1.6 million metric tons in May.

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“The June change in steel imports based on metric tonnage reflected decreases in blooms, billets, and slabs,” the Bureau reported. “Increases occurred in galvanized hot dipped sheets and strip; line pipe; and standard rails. Decreases occurred primarily with Australia, Russia, and Turkey. Increases occurred primarily with Canada and Italy.”

Freeport-McMoRan releases Q2 results

Miner Freeport-McMoRan reported net income of $53 million in the second quarter, up from a loss of $72 million in Q2 2019.

The firm reported a first-half loss of $438 million, compared with a loss of $41 million in H1 2019.

Sales of copper and gold were up 12% and 10%, respectively, compared with the firm’s April estimate.

Norsk Hydro faces COVID-19 challenges

Meanwhile, Oslo-based Norsk Hydro reported underlying EBIT of NOK 949 million in the second quarter, up from NOK 875 million in Q2 2019.

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“The ramp-up of Alunorte’s production and reduced costs, including record low production cost at Alunorte, contributed positively to the second quarter results,” the company reported. “These positive elements were partly offset by reduced realized alumina and aluminium prices in addition to reduced downstream volumes.”

In addition, Hydro also highlighted which segments have faced the most challenges as a result of the global demand climate and government restrictions related to the pandemic.

“Extruded Solutions, Rolled Products and recycling facilities were impacted the most, with capacity utilization starting to improve towards the end of the quarter,” Hydro said in its earnings report.

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