This morning in metals news, President Donald Trump said the travel suspension announced Wednesday night does not include trade (despite seeming to indicate as much during his televised speech Wednesday night), shareholders have approved the merger agreement for Cleveland-Cliffs and AK Steel, and Cleveland-Cliffs’ CEO said a tariff loophole could lead him to close a steel plant in Butler, Pennsylvania.
The Copper Monthly Metals Index (MMI) held at a value of 70 this month based on a mix of mild price changes globally.
LME copper prices traded sideways during most of February, following late January’s precipitous price drop. However, the price weakened again in early March.
This morning in metals news, arbitration fell in favor of the Department of Justice vis-a-vis the proposed merger of Novelis and Aleris, January steel shipments rose 5.6%, and copper made gains off of multiyear lows.
Before we head into the weekend, let’s take a look back at the week that was with some of the metals coverage here on MetalMiner, including: oil prices, global steel production, Chinese steel stocks, U.S. automotive sales and more.
After 10 months of many false starts and tens of millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money pumped into the company to keep it going, the purchase of British Steel’s U.K. assets at least appears on the verge of completion next week.
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.
This morning in metals news, German firm Thyssenkrupp announced the sale of its elevator segment, the U.S.’s trade deficit in goods dipped in January and the International Tin Association recently surveyed tin producers regarding the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
This morning in metals news, China’s Jingye Group has reportedly written to the French government in an effort to keep its takeover of the insolvent British Steel afloat, Liberty Steel faces challenges at its South Carolina mill and iron ore prices continue to surge.
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.
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.