This Morning in Metals: EIA releases Short-Term Energy Outlook

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This morning in metals news: the Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its Short-Term Energy Outlook; the China Iron and Steel Association (CISA) wants to know why iron ore prices are soaring; and the CEO of Cleveland-Cliffs touted the company’s plans for steel in the region after its acquisition of ArcelorMittal USA.

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EIA releases Short-Term Energy Outlook

The EIA released its Short-Term Energy Outlook last week, noting the average Brent crude price in November rose by about $3 per barrel compared with the previous month.

Furthermore, the EIA forecast an average crude price of $49 per barrel in 2021, up from the expected average of $43 per barrel in Q4 2020.

The outlook also offered an update on renewables.

“EIA forecasts that planned additions to wind and solar generating capacity in 2020 and 2021 will contribute to increasing electricity generation from those sources,” the EIA said. “EIA expects the U.S. electric power sector will add 23.0 gigawatts (GW) of new wind capacity in 2020 and 9.5 GW of new capacity in 2021. Expected utility-scale solar capacity rises by 12.8 GW in 2020 and by 14.0 GW in 2021.”

Rising iron ore creates tension between China, Australia

The South China Morning Post reported that the China Iron and Steel Association recently had a “candid exchange” with Australian miner BHP over the soaring iron ore price.

As we’ve noted here recently, iron ore has been the star riser of 2020. Chinese demand has soared since the spring given the country’s need for steel to boost its infrastructure-based stimulus initiatives.

Cleveland-Cliffs to the rescue

On the heels of Cleveland-Cliffs’ acquisition of ArcelorMittal USA, CEO Lourenco Goncalves expressed bullishness about the region’s steelmaking future.

“We are excited, energized, and fully committed to the area and the state,” Goncalves said in an interview with the Times of Northwest Indiana. “We are fully committed to the assets.”

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