This Morning in Metals: US mines produced $82.3 billion in minerals last year

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This morning in metals news: US mines produced approximately $82.3 billion in minerals in 2020; meanwhile, the United States International Trade Commission launched a Section 337 investigation related to batteries; and, lastly, aluminum prices have been dropping.

US mines produced $82.3 billion in minerals in 2020

US mines produced approximately $82.3 billion in minerals last year, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) reported Tuesday.

The totaled marked a decline of $1.5 billion from 2019.

“Decision-makers and leaders in both the private and public sectors rely on the crucial, unbiased statistics and data provided in the Mineral Commodity Summaries to make business decisions and determine national policy,” said Steven M. Fortier, director of the National Minerals Information Center. “Industries—such as steel, aerospace and electronics—that use nonfuel mineral materials created an estimated $3.03 trillion in value-added products in 2020, which represents a 3% decrease from that in 2019.”

The US, however, continues to be heavily import-dependent for many raw and processed minerals. According to the USGS, imports made up more than half of US consumption of 46 nonfuel mineral commodities. Furthermore, the US was totally import-dependent for 17 of those.

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USITC launches Section 337 battery investigation

The USITC announced it had launched a Section 337 probe involving potential patent infringements related to batteries, citing 13 Chinese firms as respondents in the case.

“The investigation is based on a complaint filed by One World Technologies, Inc., of Anderson, SC, and Techtronic Power Tools Technology Ltd. of Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands, on December 30, 2020,” the USITC said in a release. “The complaint was supplemented on January 12, 2021.  The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain batteries and products containing same that infringe patents asserted by the complainants.”

The scope of the investigation covers “rechargeable battery packs intended for use with battery-powered products.”

Aluminum retraces

The aluminum price has pulled back over the last month, closing Tuesday at $1,962 per metric ton.

The LME three-month aluminum price is down 2.65% month over month.

Do you use cost breakdowns in your aluminum negotiations? See other tips in negotiating with mills and service centers.

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