Before we head into the weekend, let’s take a look back at the week that was and some of the metals storylines here on MetalMiner, including coverage of: Tesla’s struggle between price competitiveness and battery range; supply chains amid the coronavirus outbreak; U.S. industrial production; zinc’s global supply deficit; and E.U.-U.K. trade talks.
This morning in metals news, Australian miner Fortescue reported financial results for the first half of fiscal year 2020, Chinese iron ore futures rise and the LME primary three-month aluminum price slides.
This morning in metals news, China’s Jingye Group has reportedly written to the French government in an effort to keep its takeover of the insolvent British Steel afloat, Liberty Steel faces challenges at its South Carolina mill and iron ore prices continue to surge.
This Morning in Metals: Germany’s Thyssenkrupp cites ‘difficult economic environment’ in latest earnings report
This morning in metals news, Thyssenkrupp’s earnings fell last quarter, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced affirmative preliminary circumvention rulings regarding imports of corrosion-resistant steel products and Brazil’s Vale has been overtaken as the world’s No. 1 iron ore producer.
Before we head into the weekend, let’s take a look at the week that was and some of the metals storylines here on MetalMiner, including coverage of: copper prices and the coronavirus’ impact; European steel consumption; Jingye’s British Steel takeover bid; U.S. steel production; automotive sales and more.
South Africa, the primary or major source of so many critical metals, is caught in a Catch-22 situation of its own making.
The mining industry is a major employer in South Africa and contributes some 7% of national GDP.
The impact of mining goes beyond mineral extraction and processing.
Iron ore, coking coal, oil and the base metals have all taken a hit over recent weeks.
In some part that’s due to a stronger dollar. To a larger degree, however, it’s due to fear that the steps being taken to contain the spread of the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) are going to cause insurmountable problems for global supply chains and a significant drop in demand from the No. 2 economy in the world, China.
After a dithery start, the Chinese authorities reacted swiftly to close Wuhan, then the whole province of Hubei.
But with cases spreading rapidly all over China and the Lunar New Year being officially extended for an extra week, the whole country has now almost gone into lockdown.
Before we head into the weekend, let’s take a look back at the week that was and some of the metals storylines here on MetalMiner, including coverage of: aluminum production and prices; Trump’s tariffs on aluminum and steel derivatives; the coronavirus’ potential impact on iron ore; General Motors’ electrification drive; and the arrival of Brexit.
Another victim of China’s coronavirus epidemic could well be the iron ore price.
Iron ore had a stellar 2019, reaching a five-year high of $125 per ton in July on the back of Vale SA’s Brumadinho mining dam disaster and Cyclone Veronica, which struck Western Australia in March.
Since then, the price has fallen back to just over $78 per ton in December and is currently trading around $90 per ton in Singapore — still well above prices this time last year.
Supply disruption was met with rising demand. China produced nearly 1 billion tons of steel in 2019 and consumed an estimated 875 million tons, spurred by stimulus-supported infrastructure spending and consumption from the construction market.
This morning in metals news, U.S.-E.U. trade tensions are again at the forefront with President Donald Trump’s recent threats at the World Economic Forum in Davos, a Chinese firm has purchased British steel trader Stemcor and Brazil’s Vale is off to a slow start this year.
Trump threatens E.U. with auto tariffs
At the World Economic Forum in Davos this week, President Donald Trump threatened to impose tariffs on automobiles imported from the E.U., marking another uptick in trade tensions as the president turns attention to Europe not long after inking a Phase One trade deal with China earlier this month.