Author Archives: Fouad Egbaria

aluminum ingot stacked for export

Olegs/Adobe Stock

As we continue our review of the best of 2020, let’s take a quick look back at the top aluminum stories of the year.

Previously, we reviewed the most-viewed posts of the year overall and the most-viewed steel-centric posts of the year.

Today, we’ll take a look at aluminum, which has also been on the rise in the second half of the year. The LME three-month price bottomed out at $1,460 per metric ton in April. Since then, however, the price has surged, reaching as high as $2,062 per metric ton in early December.

Like steel, prices have continued to rise. Will that trend continue in 2020? That remains to be seen, of course. However, as MetalMiner’s Stuart Burns outlined in October, Goldman Sachs is bullish on commodities in 2021.

Before we turn the page, let’s first take a look back at the best of 2020.

Does aluminum content call to you? We’re rolling out more on LinkedIn

Best of 2020: top aluminum posts of the year

  1. Trump expands Section 232 tariffs on steel, aluminum derivatives
  2. Aluminum price is pulled this way and that on rising trader interest, supply glut
  3. Aluminum MMI: Demand weakness leads to further price deterioration
  4. China’s aluminum production continues on through COVID-19 crisis
  5. Aluminum MMI: Demand uncertainty weighs on aluminum prices
  6. Aluminum MMI: Aluminum price makes gains, index rises 6.7%
  7. Aluminum MMI: Aluminum price climbs despite overwhelming supply
  8. Aluminum MMI: Aluminum prices continue to receive support
  9. China’s aluminum supply chain trauma on the heels of the coronavirus outbreak
  10. Aluminum MMI: Chinese aluminum demand remains strong, imports surge

MetalMiner should-cost models: Give your organization levers to pull for more price transparency from service centers, producers and part suppliers. Explore the models now./em>

China story steel production

Zhao Jiankang/AdobeStock

Continuing our look back at the best of 2020, today we’ll take one last review of the top steel posts of the year here on MetalMiner.

As with metals as a whole, steel prices experienced a rocky 2020.

The coronavirus pandemic slammed metals demand overall, including steel demand. The automotive industry idled production at the end of Q1 and into Q2, severely denting demand.

However, eventually automakers restarted lines and demand returned. As the year has progressed, steel prices have continued to rise and show no signs of slowing down in the near term. The U.S. HRC price, for example, is up a whopping 28.61% over the last month.

With that, let’s take a look back at the most-viewed steel stories of the year.

Cut-to-length adders. Width and gauge adders. Coatings. Feel confident in knowing what you should be paying for metal with MetalMiner should-cost models.

Best of 2020: top steel posts

  1. Coronavirus likely to impact steel, iron ore demand in 2020

  2. This Morning in Metals: U.S. steel prices rise

  3. India’s steel sector struggled in 2019 — but what does 2020 hold?

  4. Trump expands Section 232 tariffs on steel, aluminum derivatives

  5. China’s steel industry likely to see cutbacks as stocks rise amid coronavirus crisis

  6. Raw Steels MMI: Index increases by 9%

  7. Raw Steels MMI: U.S. steel prices make gains, aided by auto sector

  8. Stainless MMI: Stainless steel surcharges rise for fourth straight month

  9. Chinese construction steel prices dip amid cluster of new coronavirus cases

  10. Raw Steels MMI: U.S. price increases push three-point index gain

More MetalMiner is available on LinkedIn.

hot-rolled coil steel

taitai6769/Adobe Stock

This morning in metals news: U.S. Steel sold the Keystone Industrial Port Complex for $160 million; ArcelorMittal and Nippon Steel will build a new electric arc furnace at their joint venture in Alabama; and, finally, the aluminum price has retraced slightly in December.

Cut-to-length adders. Width and gauge adders. Coatings. Feel confident in knowing what you should be paying for metal with MetalMiner should-cost models.

U.S. Steel sells Keystone Industrial Port Complex

U.S. Steel recently announced it has closed on the sale of its Keystone Port Industrial Complex in Fairness Hills, Pennsylvania.

The sales of the “non-core real estate asset” comes for $160 million.

 ArcelorMittal, Nippon Steel to build Alabama EAF

Nippon Steel said it and ArcelorMittal would bring a new electric arc furnace to their joint venture in Calvert, Alabama.

The steelmaker it expects production to begin in the first half of 2023.

The Calvert facility is a 50:50 joint venture of the two firms.

“Calvert currently produces steel sheet products by processing semi-finished products (slabs) procured from domestic and overseas suppliers,” Nippon Steel said in a Dec. 22 announcement. “With the newly-built EAF, Calvert will be able to manufacture by itself part of slabs necessary to produce its steel sheet products and will strive for further strengthening its competitiveness through advantages of the self-manufacture, such as shortening lead time in slab procurement, improving its productivity through utilization of self-manufactured high temperature slabs, and increasing the domestic procurement ratio of slabs.”

Aluminum pulls back

Like many metals, aluminum has been on a steady rise since May.

However, in December, aluminum has pulled back a little bit.

The LME three-month aluminum price remains up 2.2% month over month after closing last week at $2,025 per metric ton. Meanwhile, the metal started the month just north of $2,060 per metric ton.

Find more insight on MetalMiner’s LinkedIn.

Global copper mine production during the first nine months of the year fell 1%, the International Copper Study Group (ICSG) reported.

Furthermore, the global copper market posted an apparent deficit of 387,000 metric tons during the period.

DO NOT miss out…join the MetalMiner LinkedIn group today for news on aluminum, steel and copper (oh my!).

Global copper mine production

Global copper mine production slipped by 1% during the first nine months of 2020. On the other hand, the fall is well below the 3.5% drop recorded during the months of April and May, when the first wave of coronavirus infections hit many parts of the world.

Meanwhile, copper concentrate production fell 0.8%, while solvent extraction-electrowinning dropped by 1.5%.

No. 2 copper producer Peru saw its output fall 16.5% during the first nine months of the year. Although the reduction dropped to 2% in July, ICSG noted, Peru’s copper mine production in August and September fell 12.5% year over year.

Top copper producer Chile, meanwhile, saw its copper production rise in the first half of the year by 2.5%.

Like Peru, however, Chile’s production slipped in Q3. Chile’s Q3 copper mine production fell by 3.7%, the ICSG reported.

Read more

happy holidays

IrisImages/Adobe Stock

As the year draws to a close, we want to wish all of our MetalMiner readers a happy and health holiday season.

Regular coverage will resume Monday, Dec. 28.

In the meantime, take a look back at yesterday’s review of the most-viewed posts of the year.

coronavirus

JJ Gouin/Adobe Stock

Before we turn the page, let’s take a look back at the best of 2020 with the most-viewed posts of the year here on MetalMiner.

The year saw the novel coronavirus become a pandemic, throwing markets into chaos, disrupting supply chains and exacting an immense toll on human life around the world.

The third and fourth quarters of the year showed some signs of economic recovery. However, recovery efforts remain on shaky ground. Despite emergency approvals for vaccines, there is still a long road ahead until populations can reach significant levels of vaccination.

As for metals prices, the coronavirus pandemic dented demand earlier in the year. In the U.S., steel prices began to recover over the summer, as automotive demand bounced back on the heels of a two-month production shutdown that began in late March.

Steel prices have continued to rise since. MetalMiner CEO Lisa Reisman recently delved into the latest challenge for steel-buying organizations: the allocation market.

As for other commodities, readers seemed to be particularly interested in our coverage of oil prices. Oil prices earlier this year suffered the twin shock of a sharp decline in demand paired with tension between Saudi Arabia and Russia that ultimately produced a flood of additional supply.

Best of 2020

  1. Oil price collapse is far from over … but now the U.S. has a role

  2. Silver’s recovery has been dramatic — but how high can it go?

  3. First a stock market crash, then an oil price crash as Saudi Arabia, Russia butt heads

  4. Gold has surged during the pandemic, but what does 2021 look like?

  5. Coronavirus likely to impact steel, iron ore demand in 2020

  6. The nickel market is set for major disruption

  7. Aluminium prices likely to remain lower for longer

  8. This Morning in Metals: U.S. steel prices rise

  9. After historic gold-silver price gap in March, investors are starting to bet on silver

  10. Precious metal prices, including gold, in free fall

Cut-to-length adders. Width and gauge adders. Coatings. Feel confident in knowing what you should be paying for metal with MetalMiner should-cost models.

aluminum ingot stacked for export

Olegs/Adobe Stock

This morning in metals news: the Department of Commerce announced the rollout of a new Aluminum Import Monitoring and Analysis system; meanwhile, in steel, ArcelorMittal announced added capacity in Canada for the production of automotive structural and safety components; and finally, the United States Geological Survey reported mine waste in the eastern Adirondacks could be a source of rare earth element materials.

Upcoming negotiation on your aluminum buy? Make sure you know how your service centers will negotiate with you.

DOC announces creation of Aluminum Import Monitoring and Analysis system

A development for which the U.S. aluminum sector has long been waiting is finally here.

The Department of Commerce announced today the imminent launch of a new Aluminum Import Monitoring and Analysis (AIM) system. The system will facilitate the DOC’s collection and publication of aluminum import data.

The system is modeled after the system for steel imports, the Steel Import and Monitoring Analysis (SIMA) system.

“AIM represents yet another step forward for the Administration’s America First trade agenda,” Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said. “The new program will enable Commerce and the public to better detect potential transshipment and circumvention involving aluminum products – helping to ensure that domestic producers can compete on a level playing field.”

The DOC said the Aluminum Import Monitoring and Analysis system will be available online beginning Jan. 25, 2021.

Read more

steel mill production line

zjk/Adobe Stock

This morning in metals news: U.S. steel capacity utilization jumped to 73.2% last week; ArcelorMittal signed an investment agreement with Invitalia; and, lastly, the Aluminum Association congratulated two of President-elect Joe Biden’s cabinet nominations.

Become part of the MetalMiner LinkedIn group and stay connected to trends we’re watching and interesting metal facts.

U.S. steel capacity utilization rate up to 73.2%

The U.S. steel capacity utilization rate for the week ended Dec. 19 reached 73.2%.

The rate marked an increase from 70.9% the previous week.

Furthermore, production during the week ended Dec. 19 totaled 1.62 million net tons, up 3.3% from the previous week.

Read more

Q4

Mohamad Faizal/Adobe Stock

This morning in metals news: U.S. Steel announced its Q4 2020 guidance; the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its November employment summary; and the copper price continues to surge.

Cut-to-length adders. Width and gauge adders. Coatings. Feel confident in knowing what you should be paying for metal with MetalMiner should-cost models.

U.S. Steel releases Q4 2020 guidance

U.S. Steel late last week released its Q4 2020 guidance, reporting it expects adjusted EBITDA to come in at $55 million.

“Flat-rolled customer demand in the U.S. and Europe has improved throughout the fourth quarter, fueled by consumer-driven end-markets such as automotive, appliance, and packaging,” U.S. Steel President and CEO David B. Burritt said. “December’s performance has been particularly strong driven by the flow-through of higher steel prices, more nimble operations, and a continued focus on cost management.”

BLS releases November employment data

November unemployment rates were lower in 25 states, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

Meanwhile, unemployment rates were stable in 18 states and up in seven states.

Copper continues to rise

The LME three-month copper price continued its upward run to close last week, when it settled at $7,914 per metric ton.

The copper price had increased 11.44% month over month.

Sign up today for Gunpowder, MetalMiner’s free, biweekly e-newsletter featuring news, analysis and more.

metalworking

nordroden/Adobe Stock

Before we head into the penultimate weekend of 2020, let’s take a look back at the week that was and some of the metals storylines here on MetalMiner, including: research findings related to organic molecules’ impact on machinability; gold prices; and the arrival of an allocation market for steel-buying organizations, as explained by MetalMiner CEO Lisa Reisman:

Week of Dec. 14-18 (machinability, gold prices and steel allocation market)

Cut-to-length adders. Width and gauge adders. Coatings. Feel confident in knowing what you should be paying for metal with MetalMiner should-cost models.

1 2 3 4 5 171