This Morning in Metals: Intel breaks ground on semiconductor factories in Arizona

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This morning in metals news: Intel on Friday broke ground on two new chip factories in Arizona; meanwhile, a spill Sunday at from a U.S. Steel plant in Northwest Indiana led to the closure of beaches in the area; and, lastly, the aluminum price has taken a breather during the second half of the month but remains elevated.

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Intel breaks ground on semiconductor factories

semiconductor and automobile

Maxim_Kazmin/Adobe Stock

The automotive sector continues to struggle with the global shortage of semiconductors.

As such, Intel is looking to fill some of the gap in the U.S.

Last Friday, Intel broke ground on two new semiconductor factories in Arizona.

“Advanced domestic chipmaking capacity and capabilities are critical for the sake of both economic and national security,” Intel said. “The United States has lost ground in semiconductor manufacturing and is at risk of falling farther behind.”

Furthermore, the two news fabs will be fully operational in 2024.

U.S. Steel spill leads to NW Indiana beach closures

A spill from U.S. Steel’s Portage plant led to the closure of the Indiana Dunes National Park beaches on Sunday, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

U.S. Steel shut down the plant on the heels of the spill.

Furthermore, utility Indiana American Water closed its Ogden Dunes treatment facility as a precaution.

“As a precautionary measure, Indiana American Water shut down its Ogden Dunes treatment facility Sunday evening, September 26, 2021, after reports of a release of an unknown substance into Burns Ditch in Portage, Ind.,” the utility said.

“Indiana American Water uses water from two Lake Michigan intakes as source water in northwest Indiana, including the facility at Ogden Dunes and the larger Borman Park water treatment plant located in Gary, Ind.”

However, the utility said it had seen no impact on the “raw water parameters” it monitors for the location.

Aluminum price remains elevated

Lastly, after surging to a 13-year high earlier this month, the LME aluminum price has taken a breather in the second half of the month.

LME three-month aluminum reached $2,950 per metric ton as of Sept. 13. Since then, it has traded relatively sideways. Meanwhile, the price closed Monday at $2,904 per metric ton.

Stop obsessing about the actual forecasted aluminum price. It’s more important to spot the trend

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