Author Archives: Taras Berezowsky

As my colleague Sydney Lazarus reported yesterday, even though the European Union has a temporary exemption from the U.S.’s Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum, it is demanding compensation at the World Trade Organization as shown in a filing by that trade body two days ago, according to Reuters.

The EU is arguing that the U.S. tariffs were imposed only to protect U.S. industry, rather than for security measures.

MetalMiner Executive Editor Lisa Reisman took readers through how the U.S. Department of Commerce did its homework on the Section 232 steel investigation, in a top-read post originally published Feb. 23, 2018. Read the full text of Lisa’s article below.

By now most MetalMiner steel producers and steel buying organizations have pored over the Section 232 steel report published by the Department of Commerce. In case you missed it, here is a link to the full report.

At its core, the Section 232 investigations represent the only public policy solution put forward by any major government to address the fundamental crisis involving extensive and pervasive global overcapacity for steel, stainless steel and aluminum.

Section 232 buying strategies – download MetalMiner’s Section 232 Investigation Impact Report today!

This overcapacity, the Department of Commerce believes, threatens U.S. national security interests because unfairly traded imports have caused substantial financial harm to U.S. producers.

Before you scream “protectionism!”, read on.

Read more

This morning in metals, we look at a few key stories circulating in the metals news mill that buyers should have an eye on.

EU ETS Reform to Increase Aluminium Smelting Costs

According to CRU Group (paywall), the free carbon permit allowances for EU aluminum smelters that have always been in place are about to be reduced.

And that amounts to a cost hike.

Due to the reforms of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) for the years 2021-2030, we can expect higher carbon prices and rising aluminum smelting costs. Buyers take note: this “will raise smelting costs for the average smelter by $10-$25/ton of aluminum, depending on the final EU policy decision,” according to CRU. “The increasing permit price will also drive indirect carbon costs higher, but the effect varies greatly from smelter to smelter,” according to the firm.

U.S. Aluminum Scrap Exporters Screwed By China?

The Wall Street Journal reports that “prices for mixed aluminum scrap dropped by about 15% over the past month, crumbling profit margins for processors and brokers that sell the material to China,” according today’s WSJ supply chain and and logistics newsletter.

“Analysts say Chinese companies may end up buying more scrap aluminum from cheaper sources in Europe. In the U.S., some worry that trash collectors may simply toss recyclables in landfills if they can’t find other buyers,” writes Jennifer Smith. Check the full story out here (paywall).

Tariffs? What Tariffs?

Meanwhile, “China’s aluminum exports hit their highest in nine months in March as strong international prices led the world’s biggest producer to sell more abroad, despite a growing trade spat with the United States,” reports Reuters.

Unwrought aluminum and aluminum product exports increased 10.2% from a year ago to 452,000 metric tons last month, according to the news service, quoting General Administration of Customs statistics.

Analysts and traders downplayed the impact of Trump’s recent import tariff since it only took effect from March 23, while the U.S.-Rusal dust-up regarding sanctions — and subsequent disruption of trade flows — could mean China’s exports have further to rise in coming months, according to Reuters.