This Morning in Metals: General Motors grapples with semiconductor supply challenges

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General Motors headquarters

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This morning in metals news: automaker General Motors is facing challenges related to semiconductor supply; meanwhile, Oslo-based Norsk Hydro reported its Q4 2020 financial results; and, lastly, the oil price continues to tick up.

Semiconductor supply

End users across sectors are dealing with material shortage challenges.

The automotive sector is no different.

This week, General Motors announced it would extend previously announced downtimes at its Fairfax, CAMI and San Luis Potosi.

“Semiconductor supply remains an issue that is facing the entire industry,” GM said in a release. “GM’s plan is to leverage every available semiconductor to build and ship our most popular and in-demand products, including full-size trucks and SUVs and Corvettes for our customers. Our supply chain organization is working closely with our supply base to find solutions for our suppliers’ semiconductor requirements and to mitigate impacts on GM.”

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Norsk Hydro reports Q4 results

Oslo-based aluminum firm Norsk Hydro reported Q4 EBIT of NOK 1,449 million (US $171 million).

Meanwhile, the firm reported Q4 2019 EBIT of NOK 560 million (US $66 million).

Norsk Hydro said the global aluminum market posted a deficit of 3 million tonnes last year. The surplus came in lower than previous estimates of 5 million tonnes, the firm said.

“The pandemic made 2020 a challenging year for all,” President and CEO Hilde Merete Aasheim said. “Health and safety of our people and the communities where we operate is top priority. Hydro is following recommendations from local and international health authorities, updating contingency plans to avoid disruptions, and securing deliveries to customers.”

Oil price gains

Oil prices plunged and stagnating throughout much of 2020. In April 2020, the WTI price fell as low as minus $37.63 per barrel.

Prices, however, have recently bounced back to pre-pandemic levels.

The WTI crude oil price closed Thursday at $58.24 per barrel, according to the Energy Information Administration. The price marked an increase of $2.01 per barrel from the previous week and an increase of $7.07 per barrel from the same time in 2020.

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