This morning in metals news, the U.S. steel sector’s capacity utilization checked in at 82.1% for the year to date, General Motors is working to transform its international operations, and copper prices have shown some upward momentum so far this month.
As if to underline the more dynamic and entrepreneurial nature of private sector firms, Geely Auto Group in China is set to create what many are describing as China’s first global car maker.
Part of China’s big three private car manufacturers, along with Great Wall and BYD, Geely is small compared to China’s big, state-backed carmakers, like Shanghai Automotive, Beijing Automotive, Dongfeng Motors, Changan Auto, First Auto Works and Guangzhou Automotive, most of whom also operate joint ventures with Western carmakers like General Motors, Ford, Volkswagen, BMW, Toyota, etc.
Before we head into the weekend, let’s take a look back at the week that was and the metals storylines here on MetalMiner, including coverage of: U.S. steel prices, 2019 metals sector M&A activity, palladium prices, the copper market amid the coronavirus outbreak, the British automotive sector and more.
- MetalMiner released its February 2020 MMI report this week.
- U.S. steel prices flattened out last month.
- Copper buyers called force majeure amid the coronavirus outbreak in China.
- Despite positive signs in Q4, metals sector deals declined in 2019, according to a recent PwC report.
- MetalMiner’s Stuart Burns weighed in on happenings in the nickel market.
- Palladium prices continue to soar.
- The Stainless MMI fell this month on weaker nickel prices.
- MetalMiner’s Belinda Fuller analyzed the copper market in this month’s Copper MMI report.
- Demand uncertainty has weighed on the aluminum market.
- Glencore signed a five-year cobalt supply deal with Samsung.
- Burns surveyed the state of the U.K. automotive sector on the heels of Brexit.
This Morning in Metals: U.S. Steel layoffs; Braidy needs $500M; Aluminum Association announces new leader
This morning in metals news, U.S. Steel recently underwent another round of layoffs, Braidy Industries‘ new CEO said the company still needs $500 million for its Kentucky aluminum mill, and the Aluminum Association announced its new president and CEO.
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.
The Renewables Monthly Metals Index (MMI) held flat for a February MMI reading of 98. (Editor’s Note: This report also includes analysis of grain-oriented electrical steel.)
Glencore signs long-term cobalt supply deal with Samsung
Miner Glencore announced Monday that it has signed a five-year cobalt supply deal with Samsung SDI.
This morning in metals news, the U.S. steel sector churned out 1.90 million tons of steel during the week ending Feb. 8, a U.S. Steel electric arc furnace is near completion and miner Rio Tinto says the coronavirus in China has impacted copper ore flows.
This morning in metals news, Novelis Inc. reported its quarterly financial results, steel trade in China slows amid coronavirus fears and India’s carbon emissions are projected to soar over the next 30 years.
M&A activity in global metal firms dropped 10% by volume compared to 2018, but the value of all deals declined by a third driven by fewer “megadeals” — transactions with disclosed values greater than $5 billion — compared to the previous year, according to PwC’s Global Metal Deal Insights report for 2019.
The PwC report cited weakness in the automotive sector and U.S manufacturing overall for playing a part in layoffs at U.S. Steel and a 64% falloff in 2019 deal activity in the steel sub-sector compared to the previous year, even when including the $1.1 billion acquisition of AK Steel by Cleveland Cliffs in Q4.
This morning in metals news, Norsk Hydro unveiled its Q4 and full-year 2019 financial results, Nippon Steel projected a net loss of $4 billion for the recent fiscal year, and President Donald Trump’s new tariffs on steel and aluminum derivatives took effect over the weekend.