This morning in metals news, the U.S. Senate is prepared to vote on a $2 trillion stimulus package Wednesday, U.S. steel imports are down 21% and U.S. Steel is idling its Lorain tubular plant.
This morning in metals news, the U.S.’s steel import levels were down by nearly half in February, Norsk Hydro’s Albras aluminum plant in Brazil recently experienced a power failure and General Motors recently revealed new developments in its overall electric vehicle (EV) strategy.
Steel import levels drop in February
U.S. imports of steel dropped by 47.5% in February, the Times of Northwest Indiana reported.
Import permit applications for February fell to 1.82 million tons, according to the report.
Hydro’s Albras plant hit with power outage
Norsk Hydro last week reported a power failure at its part-owned Albras aluminum plant in Brazil led to the shutdown of 25% of its capacity.
One of four production lines at the plant was shut down after a fire impacted an electrical transformer. The plant, in which Hydro has a 51% stake, has an annual capacity of 460,000 tons.
GM announces EV developments
Automaker GM continues to promote its drive toward electrification, this time unveiling new Ultium batteries.
“Thousands of GM scientists, engineers and designers are working to execute an historic reinvention of the company,” GM President Mark Reuss said. “They are on the cusp of delivering a profitable EV business that can satisfy millions of customers.”
The batteries are “unique in the industry because the large-format, pouch-style cells can be stacked vertically or horizontally inside the battery pack,” GM said in a release.
“This allows engineers to optimize battery energy storage and layout for each vehicle design,” the release continued.
Per GM, the Ultium batteries energy options will range from 50 to 200 kWh, “which could enable a GM-estimated range up to 400 miles or more on a full charge with 0 to 60 mph acceleration as low as 3 seconds.”
This morning in metals news, the Aluminum Association filed antidumping and countervailing duty petitions alleging imports of aluminum sheet from 18 countries are harming the U.S. industry, the British Steel takeover is set to be completed today, and the issue of steel and aluminum tariffs on Brazil remains up in the air.
This morning in metals news, steel import permit applications plunged in February, buyers are lining up to buy British Steel’s plant in France and Vietnam is ramping up purchases of U.S. agricultural goods in the hopes of avoiding tariffs.
This morning in metals news, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled to uphold the constitutionality of the Section 232 statute, President Donald Trump has decided not to impose tariffs on imported titanium sponge and U.S. Steel closed on the purchase of POSCO-California Corporation’s 50% interest in USS-Posco Industries.
While the U.S. and China earlier this year announced a so-called “phase one” trade deal, questions remained about commitments and the enforcement of the deal’s provisions.
As such, despite forestalling the implementation of new planned tariffs, the U.S. opted to maintain the bulk of the previously imposed tariffs on Chinese goods, amounting to roughly $370 billion.
At the time, President Donald Trump said the U.S. would leave the tariffs in place, but could remove them if a phase two deal is struck; however, it remembers to be seen when, or if, such a deal will be reached between the world’s two largest economies.
This Morning in Metals: ITC determines U.S. industry not injured by fabricated structural steel imports
This morning in metals news, the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) made a negative determination in the ongoing anti-dumping probe of fabricated structural steel imports, the Pilbara Ports Authority released January shipment data and Norsk Hydro will offer aluminum solutions for ships under construction for a Norwegian shipowner.
Steel rebar is a crucial material for its use in construction, which is often cited in surveys of general economic health and activity.
For instance, U.S. construction spending in December reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,327.7 billion, down 0.2% from November and up 5.0% compared with December 2018 spending.
Aluminum extrusions from China are currently subject to anti-dumping duties in the U.S., Canada, Australia and, for a more unique reason of its own, Vietnam, Aluminium Insider reported.
But despite repeated complaints from the industry and industry bodies like European Aluminium, the European Union has done no more than require a surveillance license system to report and monitor imports of aluminum into the E.U.
In a move many consider overdue, the European Commission has now opened a probe into whether Chinese exporters of aluminum bars, rods, profiles, tubes and pipes sold them in the E.U. below cost, Bloomberg reported Friday.
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.