Articles in Category: Manufacturing

automotive sale in dealership

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According to a joint forecast released by J.D. Power and LMC Automotive, US new-vehicle retail sales in April 2021 are headed for the highest number ever recorded for that month.

The news will be some consolation to automakers, who have struggled with a semiconductor shortage. As a result of the shortage, General Motors, Ford, Stellantis, Honda and many others have had to idle production.

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New-vehicle retail sales set to hit record April

Despite the slowdown in output, US automotive sales surged in April.

According to a forecast released today by J.D. Power and LMC Automotive, new-vehicle retail sales in April are set to reach 1,325,500 units. Trucks and SUVs are expected to account for 76.1% of those sales.

That sales figure would mark a whopping 110.6% increase from April 2020 sales (when adjusted for selling days).

Meanwhile, the April sales forecast marked a 20.8% increase compared with April 2019 sales.

In addition, the automotive intelligence firms projected 1,479,800 units in total new sales. That would mark an increase of 107.1% from April 2020. When compared with April 2019, it is a 7.8% jump when adjusted for selling days.

The groups forecast the seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) for total new-vehicle sales to reach 18.1 million units. That would mark an increase of 9.4 million units from 2020 and 1.7 million units from 2019.

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mining

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This morning in metals news: miner Rio Tinto announced it had reached a financing plan with Turquoise Hill Resources for the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine in Mongolia; meanwhile, the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) made a countervailing duty ruling on chassis and subassemblies from China; and, lastly, China’s National Bureau of Statistics released Producer Price Index (PPI) figures for the industrial sector in March.

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

Rio Tinto reaches financing deal for Oyu Tolgoi

Miner Rio Tinto announced it had reached a financing deal with Turquoise Hill Resources for the Oyu Tolgoi copper miner project.

The massive underground copper-gold mine project is a partnership between the Mongolian government and Turquoise Hill Resources. Rio Tinto has a majority stake in Turquoise Hill. Meanwhile, the Mongolian government owns 34% of the project, while Turquoise Hill owns the balance.

However, the Mongolian government had earlier this year expressed reservations about the progress of the project.

A few months later, Rio Tinto says it has an updated funding plan for the mine.

The estimated remaining funding needed for the project is approximately $2.3 billion.

USITC rules on chassis, subassemblies from China

The USITC this week ruled imports of chassis and subassemblies from China are being subsidized by the exporter.

As a result, the Department of Commerce will issue a countervailing duty order.

NBS: PPI for manufactured goods up 4.4%

China’s National Bureau of Statistics reported the Produce Price Index (PPI) for manufactured goods rose by 4.4% year over year in March.

The PPI rose 1.6% month over month.

The PPI for non-ferrous metal materials and wires jumped by 17.3%. Meanwhile, the ferrous metal materials index rose by 15.6%.

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wind and solar electricity generation

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This morning in metals news: US energy consumption fell by 7% in 2020; the United Steelworkers union commented on the details of President Joe Biden’s American Jobs Plan; and the aluminum price retraced last week.

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US energy consumption down 7% in 2020

Amid the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, US energy consumption fell by 7% in 2020, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported.

“Last year marked the largest annual decrease in U.S. energy consumption in both percentage and absolute terms in our consumption data series that dates back to 1949,” the EIA said. “Much of the 2020 decrease in energy use is attributable to economic responses to the COVID-19 pandemic that began in the United States during the spring of 2020.”

USW on American Jobs Plan

As we noted last week, the United Steelworkers union last week announced a strike at nine Allegheny Technologies Inc. facilities. The move could have significant ramifications for stainless steel buyers, should it linger.

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infrastructure

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President Joe Biden released details of the so-called American Jobs Plan, which among its stated goals aims to modernize infrastructure, revitalize manufacturing and create what it says will be “millions” of jobs.

The proposal will include an investment of approximately $2 trillion over the next 15 years, the White House said Wednesday.

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

Aluminum in infrastructure

On the heels of the announcement, domestic metals associations weighed in on the Biden administration’s wide-ranging proposal.

The Aluminum Association applauded the news in general terms, emphasizing aluminum’s role in infrastructure development.

“We are pleased to see the Biden administration and the Congress focusing on infrastructure investment as the national priority that it is,” Aluminum Association President and CEO Tom Dobbins said. “Aluminum is an essential element to America’s infrastructure future – used widely in the electric grid, solar panels, electric vehicle charging stations and buildings of all kinds. Major investment will also provide a once-in-a-generation opportunity to modernize the nation’s recycling infrastructure, vital to shoring up domestic aluminum supply chains and increasing manufacturing self-sufficiency.”

Dobbins added the Aluminum Association “stands ready to work with” the Biden administration and Congress on “investments that work for America’s vital aluminum manufacturing base.”

AISI supportive, but disagrees with funding

Meanwhile, in its own statement, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) also praised the administration’s focus on infrastructure.

However, the industry group expressed its disagreement with the funding mechanisms in the proposal.

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American jobs

Leigh Prather/Adobe Stock

This morning in metals news: President Joe Biden unveiled details of the $2 trillion investment toward the American Jobs Plan; meanwhile, J.D. Power and LMC Automotive recently released their automotive sales forecast for March; and, lastly, Ford yesterday announced its first-ever integrated sustainability and financial report.

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

Biden reveals details of American Jobs Plan

This week, President Joe Biden unveiled details of his American Jobs Plan, which will include an investment of $2 trillion.

Furthermore, the plan seeks to revitalize the manufacturing sector, improve US infrastructure, and modernize water delivery systems and electrical grids, among other goals.

“The American Jobs Plan is an investment in America that will create millions of good jobs, rebuild our country’s infrastructure, and position the United States to out-compete China,” the White House said. “Public domestic investment as a share of the economy has fallen by more than 40 percent since the 1960s. The American Jobs Plan will invest in America in a way we have not invested since we built the interstate highways and won the Space Race.”

We have covered the various supply chain and shipping issues that have hampered operations over the last year. Part of the Biden plan calls for improvement of US ports, waterways and airports, including $25 billion for airports.

J.D. Power, LMC Automotive release March sales forecast

Automotive intelligence firms J.D. Power and LMC Automotive recently forecast US automotive retail sales in March would finish up 70.7% compared with March 2020. Furthermore, sales would be up 9.2% compared with March 2019.

In addition, the firms forecast new-vehicle retail sales in Q1 2021 would reach 3.16 million units. That figure would mark an increase of 20.5% from Q1 2020 and 4.7% from Q1 2019.

Ford releases first integrated financial, sustainability report

As electrification continues, many automakers are touting steps taken along the way.

This week, Ford Motor Co. announced the release of its first-ever integrated financial and sustainability report.

Furthermore, the automaker also announced new “science-based targets” toward its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.

“The targets – to reduce Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions from operations 76% from 2017, and Scope 3 GHGs from use of the company’s products 50% from 2019, both by 2035 – were recently approved by the Science Based Targets initiative,” Ford said in a release.

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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 coverage of the semiconductor shortage, the Midwest Premium and more.

A fire at a Japanese chip-making plant last week has slammed automotive operations. General Motors, Ford and many other automakers have announced idling of production as a result of the shortage.

Meanwhile, on the supply side, Intel announced plans to invest $20 billion to build two new Arizona plants. Furthermore, Intel said it aims to “serve the incredible global demand for semiconductor manufacturing.”

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

Week of March 22-26 (semiconductor shortage, Midwest Premium and more)

semiconductor and automobile

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US and UAE flags

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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 the Biden administration reimposing a tariff on aluminum from the UAE, copper demand and much 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.

Week of Feb. 8-12 (Biden administration reinstates UAE aluminum tariff, copper demand and more)

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

This morning in metals news: the February 2021 MetalMiner Monthly Metal Outlook (MMO) report is out; the US steel sector’s capacity utilization rate reached 76.1%; and US industrial production rose in December.

February 2021 Monthly Metal Outlook report available

The February 20201 MetalMiner Monthly Metal Outlook (MMO) is now available. Readers will find news, analysis and much more covering copper, aluminum, nickel/stainless, tin, lead, zinc, HRC, CRC, HDG and plate.

The February report recaps price trends and relevant metals sector developments at the start of the new year. Furthermore, subscribers have access to industrial buying strategies and support and resistance levels for each of the aforementioned metals.

However, the report is only available to subscribers. Don’t miss out on the MMO report’s invaluable insights — visit the MMO landing page for more information.

US steel production capacity utilization hits 76.1%

The US steel sector reached a capacity utilization rate of 76.1% during the week ending Jan. 30, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported.

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General Motors headquarters in Detroit, Michigan

Katherine Welles/Adobe Stock

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

In sustainability news, Big 3 automaker General Motors said it intends to be carbon neutral in its operations by 2040. The automaker has also indicated it will offer 30 new all-electric models by mid-decade, as it — like other traditional automakers — aims to catch up to Tesla in the electric vehicle market.

In other news, US GDP gained by 4% in the fourth quarter of 2020. Meanwhile, US steel imports increased in December and the copper price rise has slowed down in recent weeks.

Week of Jan. 25-29 (General Motors makes carbon pledge, copper prices and more)

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The Federal Reserve reported October 2020 industrial production rose 1.1%.

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October 2020 industrial production rises

Per the Fed, October 2020 industrial production rose but remained 5.6% lower than the pre-pandemic level in February.

However, the Fed also noted the industrial production index has recovered most of the 16.5% decline posted from February to April.

Manufacturing gains

As the U.S. continues to battle the pandemic and its impacts across the board, manufacturing showed positive signs in October.

Manufacturing output ticked up 1.0% last month after a 0.1% increase in September.

Nonetheless, the sector still has a ways to go. Manufacturing output in October remained 5.0% below its February level.

Manufacturing capacity utilization rose 0.7 percentage point to 71.7%, up 11.6 percentage points from April. However, the rate remained 6.5 points below the long-run average (1972-2019).

“The index for durable manufacturing stepped up 0.9 percent, as small drops in the indexes for furniture and related products, fabricated metal products, and motor vehicles and parts were outweighed by gains elsewhere, especially for aerospace and miscellaneous transportation equipment and for miscellaneous manufacturing,” the Fed reported.

Meanwhile, the index for nondurables ticked up by 1.2%.

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