Articles in Category: Company News

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This morning in metals news, a Turkish conglomerate is reportedly ready to step into the British Steel process if Jingye Group’s takeover effort falls apart, copper prices fell to a two-week low and an Indonesian company aims to augment its aluminum production.

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Cengiz reportedly ready if Jingye’s British Steel bid falls apart

As Chinese firm Jingye Group attempts to push through its takeover bid of the liquidated British Steel, Turkish conglomerate Cengiz Holdings is ready to step in if talks fall apart, The Guardian reported.

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This morning in metals news, BHP released its half-year production results, the GFG Alliance unveiled a new aluminum group and copper prices have been on the rise early this year.

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BHP’s copper production rises 7%

Miner BHP released its production results for the half year ending Dec. 31, 2019, showing its copper production ticked up 7% on a year-over-year basis.

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This morning in metals, miner Rio Tinto recently released its Q4 production results, China unveiled new copper scrap and aluminum scrap regulations, and China’s Jingye Group has called on consultants to help strengthen its case for its British Steel takeover plans.

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Rio Tinto’s iron ore shipments down 3%

Rio Tinto’s Pilbara iron ore shipments fell 3% in 2019 compared with 2018, the company recently reported.

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This morning in metals news, the U.S. plans to appeal a World Trade Organization (WTO) compliance panel ruling related to its steel dispute with India, China’s crude steel production again hit a record high in 2019 and General Motors announced plans to invest $40 million at its Spring Hill Global Propulsion Systems plant in Tennessee.

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U.S. will appeal WTO compliance panel ruling

In its ongoing dispute with India over its tariffs on Indian hot-rolled carbon steel, the U.S. plans to appeal a WTO compliance panel ruling.

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This morning in metals news, aluminum maker Alcoa released its financial results for Q4 and 2019, an Ohio steel plant touts investment that it says will bring new jobs and a Pittsburgh-based metals manufacturer says it will have to close a facility unless it wins a steel tariff exemption.

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Alcoa releases quarterly financials

Aluminum maker Alcoa reported a net loss of $303 million ($57 million excluding special items) in Q4 2019.

Fourth-quarter revenue came in at $2.4 billion, down from $2.6 billion the previous quarter and $3.3 billion in Q4 2018.

“In 2019, we acted to further strengthen Alcoa, completing the divestiture of uncompetitive assets, modernizing labor agreements in three countries, implementing a new operating model, and making quick progress on the asset review process we announced last quarter,” Alcoa President and CEO Roy Harvey said.

“While the market in alumina and aluminum challenged us, we maintained a strong cash balance of nearly $900 million and drove operational stability,” Harvey said. “Also, our low-cost, top-tier bauxite and alumina segments both set new annual production records based on our current portfolio.”

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The January 2020 Monthly Metals Index (MMI) report is in the books, including coverage of rising steel prices, U.S. automotive sales, construction spending and much more.

This month, all 10 of the MMIs increased.

The GOES, Rare Earths and Global Precious MMIs were the biggest risers, surging by 19.1%, 5.3% and 4.5%, respectively.

Keep up to date on everything going on in the world of trade and tariffs via MetalMiner’s Trade Resource Center.

Some highlights from this month’s MMIs:

  • U.S. steel prices made gains across the board during the first half of December.
  • Copper prices made gains but were capped somewhat by concerns over demand.
  • U.S. automotive sales were forecast to fall 1.7% in 2019 compared with the previous year.
  • U.S. construction spending in November picked up 4.1% on a year-over-year basis.

Read about all of the above and much more by downloading the January 2020 MMI Report below:

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The Renewables Monthly Metals Index (MMI) gained two points for a January MMI reading of 98. (Editor’s Note: This report also includes analysis of grain-oriented electrical steel.)

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Several U.S. majors named in lawsuit over child mining of cobalt

CBS News reported last month that several U.S. tech companies were named as defendants in a lawsuit alleging the use of child labor in cobalt mining operations in Africa.

According to the report, citing a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in Washington D.C., the companies named in the lawsuit as defendants included Apple, Google parent company Alphabet, Microsoft, Dell and Tesla.

According to the report, the lawsuit was brought by nonprofit group International Rights Advocates on behalf of 13 anonymous plaintiffs from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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This morning in metals news, 2019 proved to be a down year for Ford Motor Company’s sales in China, Norsk Hydro plans to ramp up production of recycled aluminum this year and Rio Tinto awarded an A$400 million contract for the design of a new mine in Australia’s Pilbara.

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Ford sales drop in China

Ford saw its sales in the Chinese market drop 26.1% in 2019 compared with the previous year, according to the company’s most recent sales results release.

Ford sold 567,854 vehicles in China last year.

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The Rare Earths Monthly Metals Index (MMI) ticked up one point for a January reading of 20.

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Malaysian regulators opt not to increase Lynas’ processing limit

Lynas Corp., the largest rare earths firm outside of China, announced in December that Malaysian regulators did not increase the firm’s lanthanide concentrate processing limit for calendar year 2019.

The Australia-based miner and processor operates a refinery in Kuantan, Malaysia. Last year, the Malaysian government granted Lynas a six-month renewal of its license to operate in the country.

However, regulators opted not to extend the firm’s permitted lanthanide concentrate processing limit for 2019.

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This morning in metals news, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released monthly jobs data Friday, Liberty Steel Group announced it is the preferred buyer for Bayou Steel Group and U.S. November steel shipments dropped 3.1%.

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Unemployment rate holds steady

According to the latest jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. unemployment rate held steady at 3.5% in December.

In the manufacturing sector, employment fell by 12,000 jobs in December, while the sector was up 46,000 jobs in 2019 overall. Meanwhile, the sector added 264,000 jobs in 2018.

Liberty named preferred buyer for Bayou Steel

Liberty Steel Group, part of steel tycoon Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance, has emerged as the preferred buyer for Louisiana’s Bayou Steel Group, which closed abruptly in October 2019.

According to Liberty, the company has bid $28 million for the steel firm based in LaPlace, Louisiana.

“Subject to completion of a $28 million deal to acquire the business, Liberty has developed a plan to upgrade and modernise Bayou’s idled steel mill in LaPlace, Louisiana, with a view to re-starting its recycling operations in the second half of 2020 and steel making operations by 2021,” Liberty said in a release. “The transaction is expected to close on January 31, 2020.”

November steel shipments fall

U.S. steel mills shipped 7.67 million tons of steel in November, which marked a 3.1% decline from October shipment levels, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI).

Keep up to date on everything going on in the world of trade and tariffs via MetalMiner’s Trade Resource Center.

Through the first 11 months of 2019, U.S. steel shipments reached 88.16 million tons, up 0.8% on a year-over-year basis.