Articles in Category: Imports

This morning in metals news: Volvo plans to expand its electric vehicle production in South Carolina; U.S. import prices increased by 1.1% in May; and, lastly, Ford Motor Co. says Q2 2021 EBIT will come in higher than its expectations.

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Volvo to expand EV production in South Carolina

Volvo sign

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Automaker Volvo said it plans to invest in the expansion of electric vehicle production at its Ridgeville, South Carolina plant.

Volvo will invest an additional $118 million to build the Polestar 3 for its affiliate, Polestar Cars. Volvo and Geely Holding launched Polestar, the Swedish electric performance brand, in 2017.

Currently, the Ridgeville plant produces the Volvo S60 luxury sedan for the U.S. and export markets.

U.S. import prices rise in May

U.S. import prices rose by 1.1% in May, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

The rise follows a jump of 0.8% in April.

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China’s steel and aluminum market is undergoing a quiet revolution.

It’s not a revolution of investment or innovation.

Each month, MetalMiner hosts a webinar on a specific metals topic. Explore the upcoming webinars and sign up for each on the MetalMiner Events page.

Peak aluminum, steel in China?

China aluminum

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According to Reuters, Beijing’s target of peak coal use by 2030 is asserting a dampening effect on new steel mill and aluminum smelter investment.

As such, the country could be at or near peak production. As Reuters’ Andy Home notes, the country’s rising output over the years as had a dampening effect on prices. That trend has led some Western producers to cease operations.

But a combination of harsher environmental legislation resulting in Beijing dissuading investment in new coal fired power projects, combined with Western markets’ meaningful action — after years of simply complaining — to block out Chinese exports of aluminum and steel products suggests the Chinese impetus to build capacity and the rest of the world’s willingness to buy product are both going through a transformational change.

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This morning in metals news: the United States International Trade Commission made determinations in a five-year sunset review covering imports of cut-to-length carbon steel plate; meanwhile, United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai will outline the Biden-Harris administration’s “worker-centered trade policy” today; and, lastly, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers rose by 0.6% in May.

The MetalMiner Best Practice Library offers a wealth of knowledge and tips to help buyers stay on top of metals markets and buying strategies.

USITC rules on cut-to-length carbon steel plate imports

United States International Trade Commission

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The USITC recently made determinations in a five-year sunset review regarding an existing anti-dumping duty order on cut-to-length carbon steel plate from China and terminating suspended investigations on imports of the product from Russia and Ukraine.

In its vote, the USITC said revoking the anti-dumping duty order on the carbon steel plate from China “would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury within a reasonably foreseeable time.”

It also voted to maintain existing suspension agreements for the imports from Russia and Ukraine.

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This morning in metals news: US nonfarm payroll employment rose by 559,000 in May; the EU plans to impose carbon emissions costs on imports of steel, cement and electricity, Reuters reported; and the LME copper price dropped below $10,000 per metric ton.

Each month, MetalMiner hosts a webinar on a specific metals topic. Explore the upcoming webinars and sign up for each on the MetalMiner Events page.

Nonfarm payroll employment rises in May

nonfarm payrolls

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Nonfarm payroll employment in the US increased by 559,000 in May, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate declined by 0.3 percentage point to 5.8%.

“Notable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, in public and private education, and in health care and social assistance,” the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

EU to slap carbon emissions costs on imports

The European Union will introduce new carbon emissions costs on imports of steel, cement and electricity, Reuters reported.

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This morning in metals news: Chinese steel prices have plunged early this week following Beijing’s weekend warning to commodity speculators; MetalMiner is hosting its monthly webinar tomorrow, May 27, at 11:30 a.m. CDT; and the US Census Bureau released data on April steel imports.

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Chinese steel prices fall

China steel production

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As we noted earlier this week, the Chinese government over the weekend issued a warning to commodity speculators in an effort to restore “normal market order.”

Several Chinese steel prices have taken significant falls early this week. The Chinese steel slab price fell from 6,340 CNY ($992) per metric ton to 5,350 CNY ($837).

Meanwhile, Chinese steel plate dipped from 6,810 CNY ($1,066) to 5,850 CNY ($915). Steel rebar plunged from 5,570 CNY ($872) to 4,950 CNY ($775). Meanwhile, H-beam steel fell from 6,070 CNY ($950) to 5,360 CNY ($839).

Historically, Chinese steel prices lead US steel prices. As such, steel buyers will want to continue to monitor prices for any indications of retrenchment in the US steel market.

MetalMiner webinar on Thursday, May 27

Speaking of falling prices, MetalMiner is hosting its next webinar tomorrow (Thursday, May 27) at 11:30 a.m. CDT.

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For those in the market for steel nails — particularly those in the construction sector, who are already facing skyrocketing lumber costs — an announcement this week offers no pricing relief.

With volatile steel markets, knowing which strategy to execute and when can make all the difference between saving and losing money. See how MetalMiner looks at different market scenarios. 

Existing duties on steel nails to remain

imports

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This week, the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) voted to maintain existing countervailing duty and antidumping orders on imports of steel nails from a number of countries. The decision came as part of a five-year sunset review.

Revoking the existing antidumping and countervailing duty orders on imports of steel nails “would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury within a reasonably foreseeable time,” the USITC argued.

The ruling covered imports from Korea, Malaysia, Oman, Taiwan and Vietnam.

Meanwhile, in April, the US Court of International Trade upheld antidumping duties on certain steel nails from China.

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This morning in metals news: consultancy GlobalData forecast copper production from the top 10 copper mining companies will rise by up to 3.8% this year; meanwhile, the US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs advanced a bill that aims to strengthen Buy American requirements; and, lastly, US import prices rose in April.

The MetalMiner Best Practice Library offers a wealth of knowledge and tips to help buyers stay on top of metals markets and buying strategies.

GlobalData: copper production from top 10 companies to rise by up to 3.8% in 2021

copper mine

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Amid a run of record copper prices, increased copper production this year could take some of the steam out of the market.

According to London-based consultancy GlobalData, copper production from the top 10 copper mining companies in the world could rise by up to 3.8% this year.

Meanwhile, output from the 10 companies — which includes Glencore, Antofagasta, BHP and Freeport-McMoRan — fell by 0.2% in 2021, GlobalData reported Thursday.

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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 rising global crude steel production, automotive sector developments and much more:

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steelmaking in an EAF

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Week of April 26-30 (global steel production, oil prices and more)

The MetalMiner Best Practice Library offers a wealth of knowledge and tips to help buyers stay on top of metals markets and buying strategies.

China aluminum

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When the largest aluminum producer on earth keeps reporting high import figures, the world sits up and takes note.

According to figures released by the Chinese General Administration of Customs a few days ago, China recorded a new high for aluminum imports in March 2021.

Stop obsessing about the actual forecasted aluminum price. It’s more important to spot the trend

China aluminum imports surge in March

Imports went up 40.8% from February 2021, taking first quarter imports to a total of 661,517 tons. The quarterly total marked an increase of 118.8% from the same period in 2020.

China has been on this aluminum importing spree since July 2020. China’s aluminum imports last year, including primary aluminum and unwrought alloy, surpassed the previous annual record set in 2009.

What’s more, Shanghai aluminum prices last week were at their highest since 2010. China had bought in record volumes of the metal in 2020, riding on an uptick in domestic demand. Strong demand pushed the Shanghai prices higher than London prices, opening an arbitrage window for cheaper overseas metal.

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This morning in metals news: the US steel sector’s capacity utilization rate hit 78.4% last week; meanwhile, Ford announced plans to invest $300 million to build a new light commercial vehicle in Romania; and, lastly, the United States International Trade Commission held a five-year sunset review regarding imports of prestressed concrete steel wire strand from China.

Volatility is the name of the game. Do you have a steel buying strategy that can handle the ups and downs?

US steel capacity utilization reaches 78.4%

steelmaking in an EAF

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The US steel sector reached a capacity utilization rate of 78.4% for the week ending April 24, the American Iron and Steel Institute reported.

Steel production during the week totaled 1.78 million net tons. The output total marked 43.6% year-over-year increase.

During the same week in 2020, steel capacity utilization had plummeted to just 55.4%.

Ford to build new light commercial vehicle, EV in Romania

Ford announced plans to invest $300 million to manufacture a new light commercial vehicle in 2023 in Romania.

Furthermore, the automaker said it will debut a new electric vehicle model there in 2024.

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