This morning in metals news: UC Rusal will demerge its high-carbon assets; meanwhile, steel industry groups issued a renewed call to the Biden administration to ask him to keep the Section 232 steel tariff in place; and the copper price has picked back up this week.
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UC Rusal to demerge high-carbon assets
En+ Group, parent group of Russian aluminum giant UC Rusal, announced today that the latter will demerge its high-carbon assets.
In addition, UC Rusal also plans to change its name to AL+.
The company plans to focus on developing inert anode technology and working toward production of carbon-free aluminum.
“This announcement is another major step in our journey to lead the global aluminium industry into the low carbon economy,” said Lord Barker, executive chairman of En+ Group. “AL+ will be a market leader in green aluminium production as measured by carbon footprint and other environmental credentials. However, this demerger additionally secures the future of important assets in Russia that also have a future in a low carbon world but which require a fundamentally different approach to technology and a different investment path to our major international businesses.”
Meanwhile, the demerged higher-carbon assets will form a new company under a new name. That includes alumina refineries in Russia (Achinsk, Pikalevo, Bogoslovsk and Ural) and smelters in Bratsk, Irkutsk, Novokuznetsk, Volgograd and Kandalaksha, all of which it says will undertake a “long-term modernisation programme.”
Steel groups to Biden administration: keep Section 232 in place
A number of US steel industry groups have again called on the Biden administration to maintain the existing Section 232 tariffs on steel.
The groups writing to the president were: the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), United Steelworkers union (USW), Steel Manufacturers Association (SMA), The Committee on Pipe and Tube Imports (CPTI), Specialty Steel Industry of North America (SSINA), American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) and Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM).
“Eliminating the steel tariffs now would undermine the viability of [the American steel] industry,” they said in the letter. “Opponents of the steel tariffs argue that they should be eliminated to increase supply, given the current environment of rising prices and long lead times. This ignores the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented, but temporary, challenges to global supply chains in many industries—including lumber, semiconductors, concrete, agricultural products and cleaning products—as manufacturers respond to rapid and unpredictable shifts in customer demand and logistical difficulties. The same is true for steel.”
Copper price moves up again
After pulling back from an all-time high last week, the copper price has moved upward again to start this week.
The LME three-month copper price closed Tuesday at $10,496 per metric ton, up from $10,239 per metric ton to close last week.
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