This Morning in Metals: U.S. import prices up 0.9% in December

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This morning in metals news: U.S. import prices rose in December; the Aluminum Association commented on potential changes to the Section 232 aluminum tariff program; and November steel shipments dropped by 11.9%.

U.S. import prices gain by 0.9% in December

U.S. import prices jumped by 0.9% in December, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Furthermore, the December increase marked the largest jump in import prices since August.
Meanwhile, U.S. export prices rose by 1.1% after rising by 0.7% in November.

Aluminum Association calls for ‘targeted, multilateral’ approach

We previously noted several industry groups’ recent call for the incoming Biden administration to maintain existing steel tariffs and quotas.
In that vein, the Aluminum Association offered its own comments on the Section 232 aluminum tariff program.
“The Aluminum Association continues to favor a targeted approach to trade enforcement,” Aluminum Association President and CEO Tom Dobbins said in a prepared statement. “Across-the-board tariffs have failed to dent the non-market-based structural subsidies that drive overcapacity and hurt U.S. aluminum producers and workers. We look forward to working with President-elect Biden’s trade team on new, creative approaches to combat this perennial challenge, including renewed cooperation with traditional trading partners and allies.”

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November steel shipments drop 11.9%

Lastly, U.S. steel shipments in November fell by 11.9% year over year, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported.
Shipments in November 2020 totaled 6.75 million net tons. Meanwhile, the November figure marked a 0.1% increase from the previous month.
In addition, shipments of cold-rolled sheet rose by 4% from October to November. Meanwhile, shipments of hot dipped galvanized sheet and strip fell by 2%.
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