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 coverage of: Tesla’s struggle between price competitiveness and battery range; supply chains amid the coronavirus outbreak; U.S. industrial production; zinc’s global supply deficit; and E.U.-U.K. trade talks.
This morning in metals news, U.S. imports of steel were down last month, miner BHP recently released its half-year financial results and Moody’s assesses the impact of the coronavirus around the world.
A recent article by respected Reuters columnist Andy Home reports on the impact of the coronavirus, COVID-19, on the supply-demand balance in China, the world’s largest consumer and producer of aluminum, and the ramifications steps taken to contain the virus could have for the market.
For the first time in more than a decade, demand in the global aluminum market fell slightly last year as trade wars and slowing consumption from the automotive sector dampened demand.
Even so, China’s massive primary aluminum industry continued to churn out metal and add new capacity.
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.
According to the International Copper Study Group, the global copper market was in deficit by approximately 385,000 tons through the first 11 months of 2019.
The LME three-month copper price built some upward momentum in late 2019 and the first two weeks of 2020, rising to just over $6,300/mt as of mid-January.
Since then, however, LME copper has fallen 9.5% — down to $5,727/mt — amid growing fears regarding the coronavirus outbreak in China and reports of a growing number of cases around the world, including in South Korea, Italy and Iran.
According to monthly data from the International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG), the global zinc market posted a deficit of 189,000 tons in 2019.
Meanwhile, lead supply exceeded demand by 8,000 tons in 2019, according to the ILZSG.
This morning in metals news, Australian miner Fortescue reported financial results for the first half of fiscal year 2020, Chinese iron ore futures rise and the LME primary three-month aluminum price slides.
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 coverage of: India’s auto sector; a merger of Geely and Volvo; China’s steel industry amid the coronavirus outbreak; the E.U.’s anti-dumping probe of aluminum extrusions from China; and iron ore prices.
A recent Reuters article suggests China’s domination of the base metals market was marching on relentlessly prior to the coronavirus outbreak.
The headline, “China’s copper imports and aluminium consumption to drop again in 2020,” suggested otherwise, painting an initial image of a depressed market — but the reality is it is anything but.
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.