This Morning in Metals: Senate allocates funding for Aluminum Import Monitoring system

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aluminum ingot stacked for export

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This morning in metals news: the Senate Committee on Appropriations allocated funding for a new Aluminum Import Monitoring system; the United States International Trade Commission voted to continue an aluminum foil investigation; and natural gas inventories are at a record high.

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Senate includes funding for Aluminum Import Monitoring system

The domestic aluminum industry has long advocated for the creation of an aluminum import monitoring system. The Aluminum Association has often referred to the existing Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis system as a potential model.

Recently, the Senate Committee on Appropriations included $1.3 million in funding for a new aluminum import monitoring system during the fiscal year 2021.

“We are grateful for the committee’s leadership on this high priority issue for the U.S. aluminum industry, and we look forward to Congress taking action soon to enact this important provision in FY21 appropriations,” said Tom Dobbins, president and CEO of the Aluminum Association, in a release.

“Within Enforcement and Compliance, the Committee provides up to $1,300,000 for staffing and other necessary expenses to support development and implementation of the AIM system,” the Senate Committee on Appropriations said. “The Committee also encourages ITA to regularly consult with the aluminum industry on market dynamics to ensure the remedy is meeting its stated goal of supporting U.S. aluminum producers.”

USITC continues aluminum foil probe

The USITC voted to continue anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigation of aluminum foil from several countries.

The countries in question are Armenia, Brazil, Oman, Russia and Turkey.

In addition, the Department of Commerce will make preliminary countervailing duty determinations by Dec. 23, 2020. However, for its anti-dumping investigation, it will make preliminary determinations by March 8, 2021.

Natural gas inventories near record high

Lastly, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), natural gas held in underground storage in the Lower 48 states is now near the record-high value of 4,047 billion cubic feet.

Furthermore, inventory as of the end of the natural gas injection period (April 1-Oct. 31) reached 3,920 billion cubic feet.

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