Articles in Category: Global Trade
China and India flags

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This morning in metals news: China’s steel purchases from neighbor India have jumped this year; Japan’s Nippon Steel is wary of China’s steel dominance; and the U.S. trade deficit in goods increased in July.

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China ramps up Indian steel purchases

Despite border tensions earlier this year that led to skirmishes between Chinese and Indian soldiers, China continued to buy record amounts of Indian steel.

Between April and July, Indian steel exports reached their highest level in six years, Reuters reported. Furthermore, China’s share of those exports reached its highest level ever.

China’s steel sector against the world

Speaking of China and steel, the executive vice president of Nippon Steel Corp. expressed concern over the fact that China could be set to further control the global steel market.

“Chinese steelmakers are working hard on product development,” Katsuhiro Miyamoto, executive vice president of Nippon Steel Corp., Bloomberg quoted him as saying. “We must stay ahead of them.”

U.S. trade deficit in July

The U.S. trade deficit in goods reached $79.3 billion in July, the U.S. Census Bureau reported.

The July deficit compared with the $71.0 billion deficit in June.

Exports totaled $115 billion, while imports reached $194 billion.

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merger and acquisition

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This morning in metals news: Liberty Steel Group announced it plans to acquire several French steel assets; the nationwide aluminum can shortage is impacting brewers; and the United States Trade Representative (USTR) last week announced changes to its $7.5 billion tariff package on European goods.

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Liberty Steel to acquire French steel assets

Liberty Steel Group, part of the GFG Alliance, announced Friday it will acquire the steel assets of France’s rail industry business, Hayange.

In addition, Liberty will acquire the Ascoval steelworks.

Hayange produces steel rails for French infrastructure clients, including national rail operator SNCF and metro system operator RATP. The Hayange site employs around 430 people and produces over 300,000 tonnes of rail per year.

Meanwhile, Ascoval employs around 270 people and produces 600,000 tonnes of steel blooms, billets and other forged products using recycled steel.

“Today is a landmark moment for the workers of Hayange and Ascoval, for the French steel industry, and for LIBERTY Steel Group’s GREENSTEEL ambitions in France,” said Sanjeev Gupta, executive chairman of GFG Alliance. “We have been interested in both of these sites for many years and have always believed that their futures were interlinked. We will revive both businesses, in a partnership supported by the extended GFG Alliance family, which I believe will be able to connect them to bigger opportunities in the market, host downstream developments, and provide additional demand for Ascoval’s steel.”

Aluminum can shortage impacts breweries

While the aluminum can may be something many take for granted, that sentiment is fading amid current market conditions.

A nationwide aluminum can shortage has impacted beverage makers, forcing some companies to focus on their more popular brands (to the chagrin of fans of some niche brands).

As the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported, the aluminum can shortage has impacted the local brewing scene.

Tom Berg, who opened the Falling Knife Brewing Co. in Minneapolis last year with two friends, lamented the state of aluminum can supply.

“The bigger breweries have a tendency to hoard stuff; they’re probably sitting on pallets and pallets of cans,” Berg told the Star Tribune. “We kind of buy to order, because we don’t have the warehouse space. If we can’t find any cans, we’re totally up the river.”

USTR modifies $7.5B tariff package awarded by WTO

As part of the ongoing saga over subsidies by the U.S. and Europe for their respective airplane manufacturers Boeing and Airbus, the World Trade Organization (WTO) last year ruled in the U.S.’s favor.

As a result, the trade body gave the U.S. the green light to impose up to $7.5 billion worth of tariffs on E.U. goods.

Last week, however, the United States Trade Representative announced tweaks to the makeup of the $7.5 billion tariff package.

The USTR said it is removing some products from Greece and the United Kingdom from the tariff list. In turn, it is adding an “equivalent amount of trade from France and Germany.”

The changes will take effect Sept. 1, 2020.

“The EU and member states have not taken the actions necessary to come into compliance with WTO decisions,” USTR Robert Lighthizer said. “The United States, however, is committed to obtaining a long-term resolution to this dispute.”

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This morning in metals news: the United States International Trade Commission asked for an additional $2.75 million in its budget to help it toward implementation of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA); the World Gold Council released its H1 2020 report; and U.S. beverage makers are grappling with an aluminum can shortage.

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This morning in metals news: the U.S. Court of International Trade ruled the U.S.’s doubling of Section 232 steel tariffs for imports from Turkey in 2018 violated the Fifth Amendment’s Equal Protection guarantees; Western Copper and Gold announced an increase in its mineral reserves; and Alcoa released its second-quarter earnings results.

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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:

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This morning in metals news, the U.S. steel sector again posted another incremental rise in its steel capacity utilization rate, Freeport-McMoRan adjusted its Q2 copper sales estimates and the AirbusBoeing tariff saga continues.

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MetalMiner had the opportunity today to interview respected geopolitical intelligence firm Stratfor, acquired earlier this year by RANE (Risk Assistance Network + Exchange) and quiz Rodger Baker, Stratfor’s senior VP of strategic analysis, on forthcoming sanctions against China.

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Before we head into the Fourth of July weekend, let’s take a look back at the week that was and some of the metals storylines here on MetalMiner:

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This morning in metals news: amid improving demand, U.S. Steel plans to restart a blast furnace at its Gary Works; the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) went into effect today; and China could be aiming to diversify its iron ore supply portfolio.

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While small beer compared to the U.S.’s trade war with China, the growing dispute between Washington and Brussels over subsidies by aircraft makers is likely to develop into an escalating series of tit-for-tat measures this year.

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