Articles in Category: Manufacturing

According to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s latest report on industrial production, industrial production in December dipped 0.3%.

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Industrial capacity utilization dipped by 0.4 percentage point to 77.0%, which is down from the long-run average — from 1972-2018 — of 79.8%

Utilities fell 5.6% on the month, down to an index reading of 101.6% (with a reading of 100% equivalent to production in 2012) — marking its first decline since August.

“The drop for utilities resulted from a large decrease in demand for heating, as unseasonably warm weather in December followed unseasonably cold weather in November,” the Fed said.

Manufacturing ticks up in December

However, manufacturing production was up 0.2% (after rising 1.0% in November), while mining increased 1.3% after posting declines in four of the previous five months (including a 0.2% drop in November).

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Before we head into the weekend, let’s take a look back at the week that was and some of the metals coverage here on MetalMiner, including coverage of: India’s Hindalco, U.S. steel capacity utilization, Trump’s trade deals, the Department of Commerce’s circumvention rulings on steel routed through Vietnam, U.S. industrial production and more.

Looking for metal price forecasting and data analysis in one easy-to-use platform? Inquire about MetalMiner Insights today!

Keep up to date on everything going on in the world of trade and tariffs via MetalMiner’s Trade Resource Center.

GM workers went on a nationwide strike, the first since 2007 at the Big 3 automaker. Photo by Jeffrey Sauger for General Motors

Industrial production in the U.S. moved in a positive direction in November, aided in part by the end of the nationwide strike at General Motors that spanned over September-October.

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According to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s monthly industrial production index, production gained in November after falling in three of the previous four months (production increased 0.8% in August).

The industrial production index reached a value of 109.2 in November (a value of 100 is equivalent to industrial production levels in 2012). The index bounced back from the September value of 108.5.

“These sharp November increases were largely due to a bounceback in the output of motor vehicles and parts following the end of a strike at a major manufacturer,” the Fed said in a release. “Excluding motor vehicles and parts, the indexes for total industrial production and for manufacturing moved up 0.5 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively. Mining production edged down 0.2 percent, while the output of utilities increased 2.9 percent.”

By market group, manufacturing production jumped 1.1% in November from the previous month, while durables increased 2.2%.

Meanwhile, the “indexes for primary metals and for computer and electronic products advanced 1 percent or more, while the indexes for nonmetallic mineral products, furniture and related products, and machinery declined modestly,” according to the Fed.

The news come amid encouraging developments on the trade front.

Last week, the U.S. and China announced they had reached an agreement in principle on a “phase one” deal, one that would see the U.S. pull back $160 billion in tariffs in exchange for increased purchases of U.S. agricultural goods by China.

Meanwhile, the White House and House Democrats also reached an agreement regarding revisions to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the proposed successor to the 1990s-era North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Keep up to date on everything going on in the world of trade and tariffs via MetalMiner’s Trade Resource Center.

Both deals have yet to be finalized, however. (For further commentary on recent trade developments, read Don Hauser’s article published earlier this week.)

As the year draws to a close, it’s a good time to take a look back at some of the commentary here on MetalMiner from this calendar year.

One such example is our coverage of the “skills gap” in U.S. manufacturing was the subject of a recent webinar hosted by Avetta with MetalMiner’s participation.

Earlier this year, I visited the Chicago Industrial Arts and Design Center, where I spoke with founder Matt Runfola, students and instructors about the state of the skills gap in the U.S. manufacturing sector.

Revisit the full story below (the original was published Aug. 23):

Standing on an otherwise quiet stretch of Ravenswood Avenue on Chicago’s North Side — with a green barrier of vegetation obscuring the Metra tracks on the other side of the street — one can hear faint sounds of hard work being done.

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The Chicago Industrial Arts and Design Center, located at 6433 N. Ravenswood Ave. in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood. Fouad Egbaria/MetalMiner

In a building that was once home to the Chicago Radio Laboratory in the 1920s, 6433 N. Ravenswood Ave. in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood is now home to the Chicago Industrial Arts and Design Center (CIADC).

Inside, one finds a variety of work being done by a diverse group of people: teenagers, retirees, artists, and individuals simply looking to learn how to make things or try something new.

Under the watchful eyes of instructors, high school students busy themselves in the welding shops, wielding welding torches as sunlight peeks cautiously into the workspace on a pleasant August morning.

On the second floor, students of all ages work with wood, carving and cutting and measuring amid the pervading aroma of sawdust.

Another floor up and one finds students learning the tricks of casting, with the results of that work scattered about the workspace: a defiantly clenched fist, stately busts and metallic chicken feet.

Founded in 2015 by Matt Runfola — a self-proclaimed steel guy who says his motto is “fabrication, fabrication, fabrication” — students come to the CIADC from as far north as the Illinois-Wisconsin border and as far south as western Indiana to learn how to weld, cast and woodwork under the tutelage of experts.

The workspace at 6433 N. Ravenswood Ave. houses tools like a CNC router, an English wheel, and casting molds of varying shapes and sizes.

In short, it is a place of innumerable possibilities, brought into the world by innumerable creative and technical decisions.

Chicago’s North Side is not exactly known for its industrial character — so how did this workspace across the street from Metra tracks come to be?

The CIADC’s creative missions finds its roots in the art of disassembly.

CIADC founder Matt Runfola shows off the nonprofit’s CNC router. Fouad Egbaria/MetalMiner

As a child growing up in rural upstate New York — “farm country” he notes, populated by “mechanical stuff galore” — Runfola enjoyed taking things apart.

“I just had an affinity for having my hands on stuff taking things apart,” Runfola said. “I raced motorcycles when I was young. Part of racing dirt bikes is you’re constantly breaking them, so it’s a lot of opportunity to pull them apart.

“I think it was with that the realization [came] that someone, somewhere designed everything on that motorcycle. I was very intimately involved with tearing that motorcycle apart and putting it back together week in and week out.”

That love of tinkering inspired a curiosity about design, eventually leading him to the Rochester Institute of Technology, where he got his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.

Runfola wasn’t satisfied with “typical engineering” — he gravitated toward jobs that gave him access to shops where things are made, working on designing and prototyping.

“I started to whet my appetite with creativity,” Runfola said. “It was like ‘hey, design can be used to make things that I want to make, not just make things that other people made.”

That interest led him to the world of custom furniture and sculpture, which he worked in on the side. He also worked as a manufacturing engineer for a company that designs skateboards and snowboards.

But that experience prompted him to reconsider the best outlet for his passion.

“I realized at that time that the engineers, as much as we were making everything happen, we weren’t the creative geniuses behind the product,” he said. “It was marketing, and in that industry it’s very much marketing-driven.”

That realization brought him to Chicago, where he worked on the marketing side for Brunswick Corporation. Eventually, he moved on, pursuing a position as an introductory metal sculpture teacher.

“I really never looked back from that point,” he said. “I left the corporate world and focused for a number of years on my own product line of custom furniture … while I was teaching.”

That experience led him to open the CIADC as an outlet for those interested in metalworking, woodworking or casting, something he said was a “void” in the Chicagoland area.

In short, he founded the nonprofit to give people an “easier opportunity to explore the industrial arts.”

“People in high school, people outside of a university setting, do not have access to, not just working with their hands but working with their hands with these industrial processes,” he said.

During a tour of the facility, Runfola talked excitedly amid the clanging of metal and cutting of wood, lighting up when asked to explain the difference between TIG and MIG welding.

“We really go to great lengths to make it comfortable for people to cross the threshold to enter into our facility,” Runfola said. “We feel very strongly that once people are in a class and learning, 99% of people are going to fall in love with this type of work.”

Many younger students come into the shop not exactly knowing what they’re getting themselves into, Runfola said, but once they realize they can safely handle material to produce something of their own creation, it gives them satisfaction.

Cam White, 15, a high school student, is relatively new to the CIADC.

“In Chicago, it’s really hard to find places to do woodworking and metalworking,” she said during her third day of classes at the CIADC. “I was researching it because I wanted to do more hands-on things.”

Student Cam White, 15, concentrates in the metalworking shop. Fouad Egbaria/MetalMiner

White said woodworking was her primary interest, but she opted to take metalworking class to try something new. White said she isn’t sure if she would want to pursue a career using the skills she’s learning in the shop, but she does want to have her own home shop someday.

White said that among her friends, her interest in this type of work is unique.

“They’ll say ‘oh that’s cool,’ but they’re not interested in it,” she said. “They’re more interested in me doing it than actually them doing it.”

White said she’s not a “technology person,” adding that the type of “old school” work done in the shop might not appeal to other people in her age group.

“Now with all the industrial stuff and all the gaming and coding and stuff you can do in that realm, more of my friends lean to that side and less of woodworking and shop-type things,” she said.

Meanwhile, Tom Bittman, 70, retired after a career in commercial banking, first took classes at the CIADC in the fall of 2018.

“I enjoy making things,” he said. “I have a lifelong hobby of woodworking. I’ve taken some classes in woodworking at other places as well.”

While surfing the Internet, Bittman came across the CIADC and decided to check it out. Like White, he decided to try something new — after taking woodworking classes last fall, he delved into metalworking this spring.

“It’s a learning thing for me,” he said. “It’s entertainment, it’s learning, it’s a little adventure doing something new someplace new with new people.”

Last year, Bittman said he learned about all the ins and outs of woodworking, including cutting and shaping, in addition to use of the various machines in the shop.

“It’s the same thing with metal — just very different,” he said, laughing.

Of course, without dedicated, competent instruction, some students’ desire to learn could wane.

A bust on display in the third-floor casting shop. Fouad Egbaria/MetalMiner

Olivia Jade Juarez, 27, works as an instructor and manager of CIADC’s welding and forging shop.

Jade Juarez studied sculpture during her time in art school using a wide range of materials, but did not work with metal much at that time.

Out of school, however, she worked at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Colorado, which had a sculpture department largely focused on metalworking tools.

Working as an assistant there, she had to quickly familiarize herself with the tools and techniques of metalworking.

Fortunately, she picked it up quickly.

“There’s this perception that metalworking is really rough and tumble and everything is super heavy,” she said. “I quickly realized there is a little bit of that, but it is more than anything precision and patience.”

She later worked as an assistant for metals sculptor Vivian Beer for a year, after which she decided to move back to her hometown Chicago.

She heard about the CIADC based on a recommendation from someone at Anderson Ranch, admitting that she first came to the center to use the space for her own work. However, she decided to take a class and eventually spoke with Runfola about taking on a teaching job at the center.

Jade Juarez said her favorite type of student is one who comes in with no experience.

“I’ve had a few elderly people come in and just to see them — it’s almost as if they renew themselves a little bit just to be handling flames and fire and welding, forging,” she said. “It’s really exciting to see them realize that they can still do things like that and that it’s not that far out of reach.”

Companies in industries that need workers to do these types of things — metalworking, in particular — are hoping that more people reach that realization.

The “skills gap” is something often bandied about these days — that is, that there are not enough skilled workers to fill manufacturing jobs in the U.S.

According to a skills gap study by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute, 2.4 million jobs could go unfilled between 2018 and 2028 as a result of the skills gap, amounting to a potential economic impact of $2.5 trillion.

Runfola said the CIADC’s mission is not necessarily to give people the skills to move into careers in these types of fields. However, he did express hope that the pendulum will swing back in manufacturing’s direction.

“When it comes to skilled workforce and filling the voids, people are realizing that being in the trades is not because you can’t do anything else,” Runfola said. “I think that’s an important thing that people are realizing again.

“It’s almost like we knew that mid-2oth century and the latter part of the 20th century, but somehow we started forgetting that.”

In an increasingly tech-driven world, part of that drive to remember will depend on drawing interest from younger people, like White.

Whether it’s kids in the city or the suburbs, Runfola argued very few of them have the opportunity to do this type of work, at home or in school. To that end, Runfola noted the center offers a scholarship program based on financial need, through which qualifying families can receive 80% off tuition.

“That’s one way that we’re trying to remove roadblocks and get as many teens as possible in here,” Runfola said. … “Right now it’s about piquing their curiosity so at least it’s on their radar.”

Jade Juarez said the idea of making things is perhaps being lost among people in her generation.

“There’s a lot of things you buy that are already made,” she said. “There isn’t much critical thought or questioning about how things are made anymore.

“There’s a really deep disconnect between what you end up having or using and what the raw materials started out as. I think the culture is very different now — it’s just ordering stuff.”

While the modern consumer culture allows for ease of purchasing items at a click, the result is a dwindling self-sufficiency, she argued.

“Not many people know other people who are welders or carpenters or just people in the trades,” she said.

She argued one simple way to help reverse the decline of the skilled labor workforce is to reintroduce shop classes into high schools (she noted she did not have a shop class at her high school).

“Then you have that seed or a memory of having built something, so that later on when it’s more of a financial decision, you’re not going in completely blind,” she said. “I really hope that it shifts back.”

While craft work is not quite the same as the industrial trades, she called it a sort of “sister or brother” to it; she said a rise in do-it-yourself (DIY) projects is an encouraging sign of a general interest in making things.

“That kind of hunger for learning … could be cultivated more,” she said. “It doesn’t have to be a hobby or this quirky thing you do, it can be your career.”

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While there is no easy answer or quick solution to the skills gap in the U.S., Runfola hopes the CIADC can do its part in its own small way.

“High-value manufacturing is flexibility, it’s being able to change product lines quickly and efficiently and you’ve got people that can adapt very easily,” he said. “In our small way, I feel that’s what we’re equipping people that come out of our classes with, that versatility.”

Manufacturing trends are often discussed in large, impersonal numbers: a skills gap of 2.4 million, for example (not much less than the population of the city of Chicago).

As such, attempts at reforming the system are often placed in the context of Big Change, whether it’s government-subsidized programming, changes in high school curricula or private sector spending on professional development.

While it may be true that such changes are needed to combat the so-called skills gap, the conditions for Big Change can sometimes be produced through incremental efforts on the ground.

“I feel like I was given throughout my whole career trajectory … I was given opportunities to learn, to be exposed to new things, to have people be patient with me,” Runfola said. “I feel like that’s what we’re doing here.”

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This morning in metals news, the U.S. Census Bureau reported October steel imports increased from the previous month, U.S.-China trade talks continue and industrial production declined in October.

Keep up to date on everything going on in the world of trade and tariffs via MetalMiner’s Trade Resource Center.

Steel imports rise

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. imports of steel totaled 2.0 million metric tons in October, up from 1.7 million metric tons imported in September.

The value of October imports reached $1.8 billion, up from $1.6 billion the previous month.

U.S.-China talks continue

According to media reports, the Chinese government has indicated it is willing to negotiate in terms of intellectual property theft, which has been a primary gripe of the U.S.

Yahoo Finance reported the Chinese government released a statement saying it will work to curb intellectual property violations.

Among Chinese trade practices about which the U.S. has called foul has been forced technology transfer and intellectual property theft. The two sides are working toward an initial trade deal, from which it is hoped the economic superpowers can build momentum toward a wider trade deal.

Industrial production slips in October

According to the Federal Reserve earlier this month, industrial production fell 0.8% in October following a 0.3% decline in September.

In addition, manufacturing production fell 0.6% in October.

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“Much of this decline was due to a drop of 7.1 percent in the output of motor vehicles and parts that resulted from a strike at a major manufacturer of motor vehicles,” the Fed said. “The decreases for total industrial production, manufacturing, and motor vehicles and parts were their largest since May 2018, April 2019, and January 2019, respectively.”

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Before we head into the weekend, let’s take a look back at the week that was and some of the metals storylines here on MetalMiner, including our coverage of: ArcelorMittal’s plant closure in South Africa, the oil price outlook, U.S. steel capacity utilization and steel prices, CAMMU’s call for a Section 232 sunset provision, and more.

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In the age of the “skills gap” in manufacturing, how do manufacturers find the right talent for their open positions?

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Furthermore, what can be done to close that gap?

Supply chain risk management firm Avetta recently hosted a webinar, “The War for Contractor Talent,” with MetalMiner’s participation. The discussion zeroed in on the skills gap in the U.S., including the gap’s potential causes and impacts, plus what can be done to close it going forward.

MetalMiner Co-founder and Executive Editor Lisa Reisman was joined by Matt Runfola, founder of the Chicago Industrial Arts and Design Center, and Brett Armstrong, director of business development at Avetta.

To listen to the full discussion, visit Avetta’s webinar page.

Help Wanted

The so-called skills gap is massive, as is the need for talent.

“There are 4.6 million manufacturing jobs to be filled by 2028,” said Reisman during the webinar, citing data from Deloitte, The Manufacturing Institute, Accenture and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Imagine, 2.4 million of them may go unfilled, which is a shocking number to me.

“The other piece that is interesting is the impact of not having the workers that are required within the manufacturing sector — that forecast and impact on the economy in general is quite substantial.”

According to the data prepared by Avetta, approximately $454 billion of economic activity could be at risk by 2028 if qualified manufacturing workers are not found.

To put that into perspective, that figure would account for a whopping 17% of the U.S.’s forecasted manufacturing GDP of $2.67 trillion.

Furthermore, 30% of executives at large U.S. companies predict a loss of business due to labor shortages, in turn leading to a decline in productivity growth and, eventually, a decline in the standard of living by 2030, according to data included in Avetta’s webinar presentation.

Building Interest in a Manufacturing Career

What exactly is happening in the manufacturing sector? Why are companies sometimes struggling to fill open positions?

According to Deloitte and IndustryWeek, 52% of 18-24 year-olds have a minimal interest in a manufacturing career, while 61% indicate they would rather pursue a “professional” career — this despite the fact that 91% of students and working professionals find work after completing apprenticeship programs.

On the other hand, from a hiring perspective, 42% of manufacturers have a “strong affinity toward outsourcing employees” in order to increase productivity and speed up the hiring process; however, this strategy comes with potential risks, including declines in product quality.

Given the skills gap and apparent lukewarm interest in manufacturing from those in the age 18-24 demographic, what kind of impact is that having on the sector?

That is a question Runfola thinks about quite a bit, as he runs the Chicago Industrial Arts and Design Center, which offers technical classes for students of all ages. At the center, students can learn a variety of skills, including welding, casting and woodworking, in addition to proficiency with a wide range of industrial equipment.

Runfola defined the skills gap as the difference between the skills that are required on the manufacturing floor versus what skills an employee comes to the floor already having.

As a result, the labor pool available for hire shrinks by virtue of the lack of these skills.

“There’s a smaller pool of qualified people to choose from and that means that a lot of companies must resort to hiring larger unskilled workforce,” Runfola said. “It also means companies must spend more time training employees on the job — and that’s time and money. If someone doesn’t come in with a specific skill set that you require, that means that you have to bring them up to speed and that means the job isn’t being carried out as effectively as it could be right from the start.”

Another consequence of this hiring model is higher turnover, Runfola posited, as those without the necessary skills likely won’t be as invested in the work as those who come to the manufacturing floor armed with the needed skills.

In Runfola’s view, in order to start to bring more young people into the sector, they need to be exposed to manufacturing processes at an early age.

“We need to get, whatever we call, industrial arts or vocational training, or career and technical education, back into the secondary school system,” he said. “These young adults need to know what their options are before they make a decision to go to school or enter the workforce.

“The good news with this is we’re being helped out quite a bit with the maker movement, the do-it-yourself movement, and even the STEM and robotics movement in school systems. So students are getting a taste of manufacturing or making things again, but we need to instill it more solidly in the school curriculum.”

Armstrong said in order to reduce the labor shortage, much is dependent on the culture of the organization looking to hire.

“There’s almost got to be a paradigm shift within organizations that they’re willing to invest in the third parties that they have coming onsite,” Armstrong said. “That’s something that we’re definitely seeing. When you consider the training that has got to take place and even the computer-based training that Avetta can offer, those are all great opportunities to pull new workers in and to ensure that they’ve got the appropriate skill sets and all of the training in place in order for them to be successful.”

What Happened to Trade Schools?

Speaking of education, trade schools are often the subject of much debate and discussion about whether we as a nation are adequately funding and advertising them (particularly as an option for young people).

Runfola called it a “demand and supply issue.”

Given the demographic statistics cited by Reisman, Runfola said there is “not enough demand to warrant a lot of certification schools.”

“I think that’s one of the issues,” Runfola said. “We have deemphasized so much the importance of, let’s just say, manufacturing or vocational-type careers, that most kids don’t think there’s value in it, and there’s a lot of kids that don’t even understand what that means to be in the manufacturing sector.”

The Importance of Contractor Management

In addition to simply finding the right workers, it is also crucial for companies to make sure their houses are in order with respect to contractor management.

Armstrong cited an example of a crew of workers who, while disassembling a construction crane, had prematurely removed pins that secured sections of the crane’s mast together, which contributing to the crane’s toppling under minor wind gusts.

“It put the enterprise organization who had hired those third-party workers to come onsite in significant risk,” Armstrong said. “One of the things we found at Avetta is that any time there is a safety-related event, first of all, we don’t ever want to see that. But when it does happen, it is typically not the third party that’s been invited to come onsite who makes their way to the news — instead, it’s that large enterprise organization. Their logo is the one that makes its way to the headlines and ultimately presents some type of risk to shareholder value.”

Procurement in Contractor Management

Armstrong said he has noticed a shift in how procurement interacts with stakeholders, noting an increasing emphasis on being a “value-added partner.”

“Typically, when Avetta’s brought in to work with an organization, it’s through one of two channels: either through safety or through procurement,” Armstrong said. “I would say that that shift has really started to take place in the last five years.”

That trend has accelerated in recent years, with procurement gaining a more visible presence at the table.

“The stakeholders that we now see sitting around the table would include procurement, purchasing, safety, operations, legal, risk … even the executive level as they start to consider the potential impacts of hiring the wrong party and what that could do to the organization itself,” Armstrong said.

Editor’s Note: For those interested in downloading the full webinar on-demand, visit Avetta’s webinar page

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Numerous companies have expressed concern over the U.S.’s tariffs over the last year and change, in many cases citing the tariffs when referring to gloomy earnings forecasts or workforce reductions.

Keep up to date on everything going on in the world of trade and tariffs via MetalMiner’s Trade Resource Center.

From beverage can makers to automobile manufacturers, numerous sectors have bemoaned the impact of the Trump administration’s tariffs on their bottom lines (whether it’s the Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum or the vast series of Section 301 tariffs on goods from China).

That tariff pain has also been felt by the electronics sector, according to recent survey results from the IPC.

In IPC’s recent research report titled “Tariff War Fallout: U.S. Electronics Manufacturers Worried About Higher Tariffs and Laboring to Mitigate Impacts,” 86% of manufacturers surveyed between Sept. 25 and Oct. 2 were concerned about tariffs.

“On average, companies report they have seen tariff increases on approximately 31 percent of the total dollar value of the products they import,” the IPC report said. “Twenty-five percent of companies report over half of the dollar value of the products they import are facing higher tariffs.”

Some respondents indicated the tariff climate had an impact on their decisions regarding investment. According to the IPC, 21% of survey respondents indicated they are reducing their investments in the U.S.

In addition 30% reported sales were down as a result of the tariffs.

“Some companies may choose to absorb the higher costs associated with tariffs to maintain sales levels,” the report states. “But this approach results in higher costs, which will inevitably hurt margins. Moreover, some companies report that even raising prices is not stopping margin compression and weaker sales.”

In terms of supply chains, the tariffs have also prompted a shift out of China.

“Some 51 percent of responding companies report they are sourcing from countries outside of China as a result of increased tariffs on Chinese imports,” the report notes. “Nearly one in five companies (19%) report they are moving manufacturing and potentially other business interests outside of China.”

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The full report is available on IPC’s website.

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This morning in metals news, this week’s MetalMiner-Avetta webinar is fast approaching, global steel industry groups demand action on steel excess capacity, and Anglo American released its third-quarter production results and full-year guidance revisions.

Keep up to date on everything going on in the world of trade and tariffs via MetalMiner’s Trade Resource Center.

Sign Up for Thursday’s MetalMiner-Avetta Webinar

MetalMiner and Avetta are hosting a free webinar this Thursday, Oct. 24, on manufacturing and the sector’s challenges vis-a-vis finding the right talent in today’s  labor climate.

The event is free to attend, but registration is required — reserve your spot now.

Steel Groups Rally Against Excess Capacity

Amid a backdrop of sliding steel prices, steel industry groups around the world renewed a call asking for new efforts aimed at tackling steel excess capacity.

“We are grateful for the efforts made to date by the G20 and OECD governments to address excess capacity, and to support a level playing field at the G20 Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity and OECD Steel Committee,” the industry groups said. “Unfortunately, effective reductions in capacity and concrete actions to remove government measures that distort markets, including raw materials markets, have not been adequate to date. Efforts by governments to eliminate practices that lead to excess capacity should be redoubled.

“We are hopeful that the diligent efforts of Japan, the current G20 Chair, are successful in extending the G20 Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity beyond 2019, and we urge all G20 and OECD steelmaking economies to pursue all vigorous means to obtain substantive results on the critical problem of steel excess capacity.”

Anglo American Releases 3Q Results, ’19 Guidance

Miner Anglo American revised its 2019 copper guidance downward, down to a range of 630,000 tons to 650,000 tons (from a range of 630,000 tons to 660,000 tons), partially as a result of drought conditions in central Chile.

Third-quarter copper production reached 159,000 tons, down 8% from 172,000 tons in Q3 2018. For the year to date, the firm’s copper production dipped 1% to 479,000 tons.

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Palladium production in the third quarter was flat on a year-over-year basis, while platinum production fell 1% to 527,000 ounces.

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This morning in metals news, an upcoming MetalMiner webinar will explore the challenges manufacturers face in talent acquisition, the nickel price continues to fall after a hot summer and miner BHP released its production results for the quarter ending Sept. 30.

Keep up to date on everything going on in the world of trade and tariffs via MetalMiner’s Trade Resource Center.

Webinar to Explore Manufacturing ‘Skills Gap’

If you haven’t already done so, there’s still time to sign up for MetalMiner’s free Oct. 23 webinar, “The War For Contractor Talent: How Manufacturers Can Find the Workers They Need (and Fast).”

The webinar is free to attend, but registration is required.

MetalMiner Executive Editor Lisa Reisman will be joined by Matt Runfola, founder of the Chicago Industrial Arts and Design Center, and Brett Armstrong, director of business development at Avetta.

Nickel Price Slides

It was a hot summer for nickel, which surged from below $12,000 per ton in June to nearly $18,500 per ton in early September, according to MetalMiner IndX data.

However, the nickel price has started to come back down to earth over the last six weeks.

The three-month LME nickel price reached $16,260/mt as of Friday, down 4.07% on a month-over-month basis.

BHP Releases 3Q 2019 Results

Miner BHP released its quarterly production results for the quarter ending Sept. 30, showing copper production fell 3% from the previous quarter due to planned maintenance.

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Meanwhile, metallurgical coal and energy coal production fell 21% and 24%, respectively.

“We delivered a solid start to the 2020 financial year through ongoing strong operational performance across our portfolio,” BHP CEO Andrew Mackenzie said. “While Group production for the quarter decreased slightly due to the expected impacts of planned maintenance and natural field decline in Petroleum, guidance remains unchanged and we are on track to deliver slightly higher volumes than last financial year. The South Flank iron ore project is 50 per cent complete, with all our major projects on schedule and budget. We achieved further encouraging exploration results in Petroleum and at the Oak Dam copper prospect.”