This Morning in Metals: December steel shipments jump 4.4%

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This morning in metals news: December steel shipments rose by 4.4%; meanwhile, miner BHP announced plans to work with Japanese steelmaker JFE to study how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the steelmaking process; and, lastly, the copper price has bounced back after a January lull.

Steel shipments rise in December

US steel shipments rose by 4.4% in December compared with the previous month, the American Iron and Steel Institute reported.

December steel shipments reached 7.05 million net tons.

Meanwhile, steel shipments in 2020 totaled 81.0 million net tons, or down 15.8% from 2019.

By product, hot rolled sheet steel shipments rose by 3%. Meanwhile, cold rolled sheet steel shipments fell by 3%.

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BHP, JFE to study curbing emissions in steelmaking process

Businesses around the world are making efforts to show consumers they are tackling the climate crisis in some form.

As we’ve noted recently in the automotive sector, General Motors unveiled plans to electrify its lineup and reach carbon neutrality by 2040.

Speaking of steel shipments, players in the steelmaking sector are also making similar announcements.

Miner BHP and Japanese steelmaker JFE will work together to study how to curb emissions from the steelmaking process.

BHP said it is prepared to invest US $15 million throughout the five-year partnership.

“The JFE-BHP partnership will focus on the role of Australian raw materials to help to increase efficiency and reduce emissions from the blast furnace and direct reduced iron (DRI) steel making routes,” BHP said in a release. “The partnership intends to study the properties of raw materials, with focus on specific areas such as iron ore pretreatment, use of enhanced iron ore lump, high quality coke and DRI, required to decrease iron and steelmaking emissions and support a transition to a low carbon future.”

Copper bounces back

After cooling in January, the copper price is back on the ascent.

The LME three-month copper price closed Tuesday at $8,132 per metric ton. The price is up 2.07% from the previous month.

After reaching $8,160 per metric ton in early January, the price fell as low as $7,748 per metric ton Feb. 2.

Are you on the hook for communicating the company’s steel performance to the executive team? See what should be in that report.

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