Author Archives: Fouad Egbaria

This morning in metals news: the US steel capacity utilization rate reached 81.5% last week; meanwhile, miner Glencore announced a new liquefied natural gas supply agreement; and, lastly, G7 trade ministers issued a joint communiqué covering market and trade distortions by state enterprises.

Each month, MetalMiner hosts a webinar on a specific metals topic. Explore the upcoming webinars and sign up for each on the MetalMiner Events page.

US steel capacity utilization rate rises to 81.5%

steelmaking in an EAF

nikitos77/Adobe Stock

US steel capacity utilization for the week ending May 29 reached 81.5%, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported.

Output during the week reached 1,836,000 net tons, AISI reported, up 50.1% year over year. In the previous week, the capacity utilization rate settled at 79.0%.

Meanwhile, the output total marked an increase of 2.4% from the previous week.

For the year to date, production reached 35,913,000 net tons. The capacity utilization rate for the period checked in at 78.1%. Year-to-date output is up 9.5% from the same period in 2020, when the capacity utilization rate reached 69.9%.

Read more

This morning in metals news: US personal consumption expenditure rose in April; meanwhile, Norsk Hydro is teaming up on an offshore wind project in the Norwegian North Sea; and, lastly, the United Steelworkers asked the Biden administration for clarification on its domestic mining stance.

More MetalMiner is available on LinkedIn.

US personal consumption expenditures rises 0.5% in April

personal consumption expenditure

momius/Adobe Stock

US personal consumption expenditure increased by $80.3 billion in April, or by 0.5%, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported.

However, personal income decreased by $3.21 trillion, or 13.1%.

Meanwhile, disposable personal income (DPI) decreased by $3.22 trillion, or 14.6%.

Norsk Hydro, Equinor, RWE team up on offshore wind

Oslo-based Norsk Hydro announced it is teaming up with Equinor and RWE on a new offshore wind project in the Norwegian North Sea.

Read more

Before we head into the weekend, let’s take a look back at the week that was here on MetalMiner, which included coverage of the Section 232 tariffs, the recent metals price pullback, China’s warning to commodity speculators and much more:

Each month, MetalMiner hosts a webinar on a specific metals topic. Explore the upcoming webinars and sign up for each on the MetalMiner Events page.

Week of May 24-28 (Section 232 tariffs, price pullback and more)

tariffs overlaid on US currency

zimmytws/Adobe Stock

The MetalMiner Best Practice Library offers a wealth of knowledge and tips to help buyers stay on top of metals markets and buying strategies.

This morning in metals news: during MetalMiner’s latest webinar Thursday, the team walked through the signs buyers should pay attention to that might indicate an end to the current state of allocation markets and metals shortages; the carbon footprint of aluminum can production in North America has plunged over the past three decades, according to a recent report; US average gasoline prices are at their highest level before Memorial Day since 2014; and the US international trade deficit declined in April.

We’re offering timely emails with exclusive analyst commentary and some best practice advice. Sign up here.

MetalMiner webinar now available in Video Archive

webinar

RoBird/Adobe Stock

In case you missed Thursday’s 30-minute webinar, video is available in the MetalMiner Video Archive.

Visit the Video Archive landing page to sign up to receive the video.

For metals buyers, metals markets have been defined by allocation and shortages for many months. As such, the MetalMiner team walked through the signs buyers should pay attention to that may indicate those scenarios could be winding down.

Furthermore, visit the MetalMiner Events page for a schedule and topics of upcoming MetalMiner webinars.

Read more

Global copper mine production rose by 3.5% through the first two months of the year, the International Copper Study Group reported.

Furthermore, copper concentrate production rose by 5% during the period, while solvent extraction-electrowinning fell by about 3%.

The MetalMiner Best Practice Library offers a wealth of knowledge and tips to help buyers stay on top of metals markets and buying strategies.

Recovering copper production

copper mine

vadiml/Adobe Stock

Strong Chinese demand powered metals markets last year, particularly as demand still lagged in Europe, the United States and elsewhere.

Meanwhile, on the supply side, copper mine production took a hit, particularly in South America, as the COVID-19 pandemic worsened. (MetalMiner contributor Christopher Rivituso recently summarized developments in the copper market and where prices could go this year.)

However, output recovered throughout the year and into 2021.

Chile, the top copper producer, saw its copper mine production fall by 2.6% during the first two months of the year.

Meanwhile, Peru, the second-largest producer, saw its output fall by 7.5% in January. Peru’s mine output bounced back in February, leading to an aggregated 3.7% drop for the two-month period.

Read more

Over three years later, analysis, assessments and calls for removal or maintenance continue to pour in with respect to the former Trump administration’s Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum.

In 2018, former President Donald Trump used Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum of 25% and 10%, respectively, citing national security concerns. The administration sought to boost domestic industry and bring capacity utilization rates up to around 80% (considered a barometer of industry health).

With respect to aluminum, the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), in a white paper released this week, argues for the success of the Section 232 aluminum duty.

Do you know the five best practices of sourcing metals, including aluminum?

EPI: Section 232 aluminum tariff spurred investment, jobs growth

tariffs overlaid on US currency

zimmytws/Adobe Stock

Among its primary conclusions, the EPI white paper argues the 10% duty has led to job growth in the sector and increased production.

“Projects, investments, jobs, and capacity are on the rise since the initiation of the Section 232 aluminum tariffs,” the EPI argued. “At least 57 new and expansion projects are in downstream aluminum industries producing extruded (rod and bar, pipe and tube, and extruded shapes) and rolled (sheet and plate) products. These new and expanded facilities will employ more than 4,500 additional workers, generate $6 billion in new investments, and add more than 1.1 million metric tons of annual rolling and extrusion capacity to the downstream domestic aluminum industry.”

Furthermore, the EPI argued US primary aluminum production increased on the heels of the Section 232 tariff.

US primary aluminum production increased by 37.6% from March 2018-February 2020 compared with the previous two-year period, the EPI said.

Read more

This morning in metals news: new-vehicle retail sales are on pace to hit their highest total ever for the month of May, according to J.D. Power and LMC Automotive; meanwhile, new orders for manufactured durable goods declined in April after 11 straight months of gains; and, lastly, LME aluminum has backtracked over the last two-plus weeks.

The MetalMiner Best Practice Library offers a wealth of knowledge and tips to help buyers stay on top of metals markets and buying strategies.

New-vehicle retail sales set to have record May

auto sale

Photographee.eu/Adobe Stock

US new-vehicle retail sales are on pace to have a record May, J.D. Power and LMC Automotive reported in their jointly released automotive forecast today.

They project new-vehicle retail sales this month will reach 1,388,600, good for an increase of 34.0% year over year. Furthermore, the sales forecast would mark a jump of 10.6% compared with May 2019 sales.

“The U.S. auto industry is showing tremendous adaptability in maintaining a record sales pace, despite historically low inventory levels,” said Thomas King, president of the data and analytics division at J.D. Power. “May is usually one of the highest-volume sales months with buying activity peaking around the Memorial Day weekend when manufacturers typically offer incremental incentives. This year, notwithstanding supply constraints and significantly reduced incentives from manufacturers, May 2021 will be another record-breaking month for the industry.”

Read more

Global crude steel production dipped to 169.5 million metric tons in April, down slightly from the previous month, the World Steel Association reported this month.

Production in March had reached 170.1 million metric tons. Meanwhile, April output increased 23.3% year over year, up from 137.5 million metric tons in April 2020.

Each month, MetalMiner hosts a webinar on a specific metals topic. Explore the upcoming webinars and sign up for each on the MetalMiner Events page.

Chinese steel production rises

Steel production

buhanovskiy/AdobeStock

Although global steel production backtracked slightly in April from the previous month, Chinese steel production increased.

The Chinese steel sector churned out 97.9 million metric tons, up from 94 million metric tons in March. Meanwhile, April output increased by 13.4% year over year.

Steel producers in China — and around the world — have benefited from soaring prices. Furthermore, earlier this month, Chinese steelmakers bumped up prices to account for significant rises in iron ore prices.

Read more

This morning in metals news: Chinese steel prices have plunged early this week following Beijing’s weekend warning to commodity speculators; MetalMiner is hosting its monthly webinar tomorrow, May 27, at 11:30 a.m. CDT; and the US Census Bureau released data on April steel imports.

Get social with us. Follow MetalMiner on LinkedIn.

Chinese steel prices fall

China steel production

Zhao Jiankang/AdobeStock

As we noted earlier this week, the Chinese government over the weekend issued a warning to commodity speculators in an effort to restore “normal market order.”

Several Chinese steel prices have taken significant falls early this week. The Chinese steel slab price fell from 6,340 CNY ($992) per metric ton to 5,350 CNY ($837).

Meanwhile, Chinese steel plate dipped from 6,810 CNY ($1,066) to 5,850 CNY ($915). Steel rebar plunged from 5,570 CNY ($872) to 4,950 CNY ($775). Meanwhile, H-beam steel fell from 6,070 CNY ($950) to 5,360 CNY ($839).

Historically, Chinese steel prices lead US steel prices. As such, steel buyers will want to continue to monitor prices for any indications of retrenchment in the US steel market.

MetalMiner webinar on Thursday, May 27

Speaking of falling prices, MetalMiner is hosting its next webinar tomorrow (Thursday, May 27) at 11:30 a.m. CDT.

Read more

This morning in metals news: the US steel capacity utilization rate reached 79.0% last week; the state-owned Indonesia Battery Corporation and South Korea’s LG will build a $1.2 billion battery plant in Indonesia; and the copper price has cooled since reaching an all-time high earlier this month.

Each month, MetalMiner hosts a webinar on a specific metals topic. Explore the upcoming webinars and sign up for each on the MetalMiner Events page.

US steel capacity utilization rate at 79.0%

hot rolled steel

niteenrk/Adobe Stock

US steel capacity utilization reached 79.0% for the week ending May 22, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported.

The rate marked a decline from 79.2% posted the previous week. Meanwhile, the rate for the same week in 2020 had reached just 54.6%.

Production during the week ending May 22 totaled 1,793,000 net tons, down 0.3% from the previous week. However, the output total marked an increase of 46.6% on a year-over-year basis.

Read more

1 2 3 4 5 192