This Morning in Metals: Merchants Fleet expands BrightDrop EV order to 18,000

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This morning in metals news: Merchants Fleet will expand its purchases of BrightDrop electric vehicles to 18,000; meanwhile, the Producer Price Index for metals and metal products increased in October; and, finally, the United States International Trade Commission issued a vote on freight rail coupler systems from China.

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Merchants Fleet to expand EV orders from GM’s BrightDrop

electric vehicle charging

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Fleet management company Merchants Fleet will expand its orders of BrightDrop electric vehicles to 18,000.

BrightDrop, a General Motors company, focuses on electrifying the commercial delivery and logistics industry.

“BrightDrop, the technology startup helping decarbonize last-mile deliveries, today announced that Merchants Fleet, the nation’s fastest growing fleet management company, plans to expand its purchase order to 18,000 BrightDrop electric vehicles with the addition of 5,400 EV410s – the recently unveiled mid-size electric light commercial vehicle (eLCV),” GM said in a release.

“The EV410 order adds to the 12,600 EV600s slated to be integrated into the company’s fleet starting in 2023.”

PPI for metals, metal products rises

The Producer Price Index for metals and metal products reached 323.7 in October, according to Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED).

The PPI increased from 316.1 in September. Furthermore, the index stood at 222.2 in October 2020.

Steel and aluminum prices softened in October but remain elevated. After a year of inflation, shortages and supply chain disruptions, the MetalMiner team will delve into price predictions for 2022 during its next webinar session Wednesday, Dec. 8.

USITC votes to continue AD, CVD investigations of Chinese freight rail couplers

The USITC recently voted to continue anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations related to imports of freight rail coupler systems and components from China.

The commission determined “there is a reasonable indication that a U.S. industry is materially injured by reason of imports of freight rail coupler systems and components from China that are allegedly subsidized and sold in the United States at less than fair value.”

As a result, the cases move back to the Department of Commerce, which will make a preliminary anti-dumping determination by March 8, 2022. Meanwhile, it will make a countervailing duty determination by Dec. 23, 2021.

The recently approved U.S. infrastructure bill includes funding for both passenger and freight rail improvements.

“The bipartisan law will modernize our ports, our airports, our freight rail to make it easier for companies to get goods to market; reduce supply chain bottlenecks, as we’re experiencing now; and lower cost for you and your family,” President Joe Biden said Nov. 15.

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