Articles in Category: Non-ferrous Metals

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President Donald Trump announced today the removal of the U.S.’s Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum with resect to NAFTA partners Canada and Mexico.

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The tariffs had remained in place since June 1, 2018, when temporary exemptions for Canada, Mexico and the E.U. were allowed to expire.

Trade officials from the three countries had expressed optimism earlier this week that a deal was near to remove the 25% steel tariff and 10% aluminum tariff.

The move marks a major step toward approval of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), meant as the successor to NAFTA.

“I’m pleased to announce that we’ve just reached an agreement with Canada and Mexico and we’ll be selling our products into those countries without the imposition of tariffs, or major tariffs,” Trump told the National Association of Realtors, as reported by USA Today. “Big difference.”

President Donald Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and then-Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto signed the USMCA during the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires late last year. However the three countries’ legislatures must ratify the deal before it can go into effect.

As such, both Mexico and Canada in recent months have indicated that they would be unlikely to approve a deal without removal of the tariffs. Likewise, members of the U.S. Congress, both Republicans and Democrats, also indicated a deal would not be approved unless the tariffs are removed vis-a-vis imports of steel and aluminum from Canada and Mexico.

U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, the top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, lauded the move.

“Canada and Mexico are strong allies and have taken significant steps to assure that trade-distorting and subsidized steel and aluminum from third countries will not surge into the U.S. market,” Brady said.

“With this crucial issue resolved, now is the time for Congress to advance USMCA – delay means the United States continues to lose out on more jobs, more customers for Made-in-America goods, and a stronger economy.  Congress should take up this updated and modernized agreement, which will produce strong wins for America.”

David MacNaughton, Canada’s ambassador to the U.S., hailed the agreement to remove the tariffs.

“This is a victory for both our countries and our highly integrated steel and aluminum industries,” he said in a tweet Friday.

According to a joint statement issued by Canada and the United States, in addition to removal of the tariffs the countries will implement measures to “prevent the importation of aluminum and steel that is unfairly subsidized and/or sold at dumped prices” and “prevent the transshipment of aluminum and steel made outside of Canada or the United States to the other country.”

The joint statement also addresses situations in which imports levels surge.: “In the event that imports of aluminum or steel products surge meaningfully beyond historic volumes of trade over a period of time, with consideration of market share, the importing country may request consultations with the exporting country. After such consultations, the importing party may impose duties of 25 percent for steel and 10 percent for aluminum in respect to the individual product(s) where the surge took place (on the basis of the individual product categories set forth in the attached chart). If the importing party takes such action, the exporting country agrees to retaliate only in the affected sector (i.e., aluminum and aluminum-containing products or steel).”

Canada will also rescind retaliatory tariffs on U.S. products imposed last summer. In addition to a variety of steel and aluminum products, the list of items targeted for retaliatory duties included coffee, yogurt and orange juice.

From the Analysts: Price Impacts of Removal of Section 232 Steel and Aluminum Tariffs for Canada and Mexico

With the removal of tariffs on imports of aluminum from Canada and Mexico, announced today by the U.S. government, MetalMiner anticipates the aluminum U.S. Midwest Premium may finally drop from the current level of around $0.19 per pound due to the easing of restrictions on the flow of prime material cross-border.

Source: MetalMiner data from MetalMiner IndX(™)

As of now, the LME aluminum price does not appear to show any impact from the news, with the price still sitting close to yesterday’s closing value.

Source: FastMarkets

Given the lack of major producers of semi-finished materials in both Mexico and Canada, MetalMiner does not anticipate a flood of materials to hit the U.S. market; therefore, buying organizations can continue to expect tightness for semi-finished aluminum commercial grade sheet and coil. Buying organizations will likely not see large price drops for semi-finished sheet and coil products.

On the other hand, given that the 25% tariff on steel effectively deterred imports of that metal to the U.S., MetalMiner does expect to see an impact on steel prices as imports of steel increase.

Canada serves as the largest exporter of flat rolled steel products, as well as long products, with Mexico taking the No. 3 position. For tubular products, Canada and Mexico take the No. 2 and 3 positions. For stainless steel, Mexico serves as the fourth-largest exporter to the U.S. and Canada does not export stainless to the U.S. in a major way.

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MetalMiner does not expect to see any major changes in domestic stainless steel prices, as most of the global suppliers of stainless steel still face the 25% Section 232 tariff.

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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:

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  • MetalMiner’s Belinda Fuller’s Raw Steels MMI report runs down the month in the raw steels sector.
  • The World Bank recently launched a new fund targeting the development of sustainable mining practices to support renewable energy installation.
  • Stuart Burns on steelmaker ArcelorMittal’s decision to idle production at a number of its European facilities.
  • U.S.-China trade talks took a turn over the last week.
  • Fuller on rising China HRC prices.
  • Stocks markets have felt the pain on the heels of the latest chapter in the ongoing U.S.-China trade war saga.
  • What’s next for Tata Steel after its planned joint venture with German firm Thyssenkrupp fell apart amid regulatory scrutiny?
  • The International Lead and Zinc Study Group forecast a global surplus for lead this year and a zinc deficit.

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This morning in metals news, the iron ore price continues to rise, the U.S. cut its import tariff on Turkish steel in half and copper is on its way to its fifth consecutive weekly loss.

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Iron Ore Rises After Vale Warning

The iron ore price has received several supply-side boosts this year, stemming from operational failures at miner Vale’s operations in Brazil and tropical cyclones in Australia.

An update from Vale regarding its Gongo Soco mine has offered even more support to the iron ore price, which climbed over the $100 per ton mark for the first time in five years, the Financial Times reported.

Earlier this year, a dam breach occurred at Vale’s Corrego do Feijao mine in Brumadinho, killing hundreds. Now, Vale is issuing a warning about a potential breach at its Gongo Soco mine’s Sul Superior dam.

“As soon as a movement was detected on the northern slope of a pit at the Gongo Soco mine in Barão de Cocais, Minas Gerais, paralyzed since 2016, Vale immediately informed the competent authorities and has taken a series of necessary measures to update the region’s population about the situation in the pit and at the Sul Superior dam, which is approximately 1.5 km from the mine area,” Vale said in a prepared statement.
“It should be noted that there are no technical elements so far that point towards an eventual slide of the northern slope of the Gongo Soco Mine, which could act as a trigger for a breach of the Sul Superior Dam. Even so, Vale is reinforcing the alert and readiness level for a worst-case breach scenario.”

U.S. Cuts Turkish Steel Tariff

Amid a year of diplomatic tension between the U.S. and Turkey, the U.S. last year doubled its Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum against the latter, raising them to 50% and 20%, respectively.

This week, however, the White House announced it would cut the steel tariff in half, back to the original 25% rate.

In a statement, the White House said steel imports fell 12% in 2018 compared with the previous year, including a 48% decline in imports of steel from Turkey.

“Given these improvements, I have determined that it is necessary and appropriate to remove the higher tariff on steel imports from Turkey imposed by Proclamation 9772, and to instead impose a 25 percent ad valorem tariff on steel imports from Turkey, commensurate with the tariff imposed on such articles imported from most countries,” the White House said. “Maintaining the existing 25 percent ad valorem tariff on most countries is necessary and appropriate at this time to address the threatened impairment of the national security that the Secretary found in the January 2018 report.”

Copper Down Again

The price of copper is on its way to its fifth consecutive weekly loss, Reuters reported.

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According to the report, LME copper dropped 1.4% this week, moving near a 3 1/2-month low reached on Monday.

While industrial metals started 2019 in an upward trend, the complex showed weakness as 2019 progressed.

In fact, all of the industrial metals hit down around current support levels — and lower at times — during the past few weeks.

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With industrial metals down across the board, are we moving into bear market territory? Or have we witnessed a temporary blip resulting from less certain macroeconomic conditions?

To examine the situation in more detail, let’s have a look at some of the key industrial metals and recent prices.

The DBB Trended Back Down to Mid-January 2019 Values

After a bullish start to the year, the DBB peaked on a short-term basis in early April, then trended back down once more.

Compared with July 2018’s larger drop, this one appears milder, but the short-term downward trend remains.

Source: MetalMiner analysis of NASDAQ.com data

The DBB tracks three key industrial metals: aluminum, copper and zinc. Let’s take a look at each metal to assess price performance using the LME 3-month futures price.

LME Aluminum

Looking at weekly trading volume, it looks like the downtrend in price is played out (based on recent positive trading volume). Also, both positive and negative weekly volumes looked weak recently, with a lack of momentum in prices.

Source: MetalMiner analysis of Fastmarkets.com

This indicates continued sideways movement on the LME aluminum price.

Given that the aluminum market moved largely sideways during the course of 2019, the Moving Average Convergence/Divergence (MACD) can also indicate where the market is at this time.

The MACD tracks the difference between two exponential smoothed moving averages (using the 12- and 26-day averages); it’s the black line in the graph below, which sits along the bottom edge below the price line. The red line, or signal line, uses the nine-day exponentially smoothed average of the MACD.

Source: MetalMiner analysis of Fastmarkets.com

When the values hold above zero, this indicates the market is overbought. When they are below zero, this indicates the market is oversold. If the lines continue to trend downward, then the downtrend is still in process.

By this indicator, the aluminum market looks oversold and a buy signal emerged recently when the longer-term line turned up after a couple of days of upward market momentum and edged past the signal line. The signal line followed a day later, indicating the downtrend lost steam.

Based on this analysis, aluminum prices may have already hit bottom and turned around; therefore, the aluminum market itself does not look bearish at present.

LME Copper

LME copper prices lately have showed clear weakness. However, they found support again recently in daily trading, stopping a further slide in price.

With negative trading volume still registering on a weekly basis, the price dynamic for copper still looks weak.

Source: MetalMiner analysis of Fastmarkets.com

Looking at volume on a weekly basis, we can see that it trended up again last week. Through the first few days of this week, volume registered as negative on the partial week’s data.

Copper prices still look weak.

LME Zinc

Like the other industrial metals, LME zinc prices trended downward in April.

Looking at weekly volumes for zinc, the price action looks mixed. (Note that the last bar shows only partial data for the week in progress.)

Source: MetalMiner analysis of Fastmarkets.com

Given the clearer trend when looking at LME zinc prices, we can use the 4-9-18 day moving average analysis to assess the state of the current downtrend. The result of the analysis shows the downtrend remains in process as the moving averages queue in the expected order, with the 18-day average on top (blue line), followed by the nine-day (purple line), then the four-day average (red line).

Source: MetalMiner analysis of Fastmarkets.com

Therefore, in the case of LME zinc (using this method) the downward trend continues. The red line, however, the shortest average and therefore most sensitive, has recently shown signs of turning back up.

Source: MetalMiner analysis of Fastmarkets.com

Looking at a MACD analysis, based on the 12-, 26-, and nine-day periods, the downtrend continues with the signal line in red sitting above the MACD line in black, while both continue in a downward trend below the zero point of the MACD indicator bar.

Readings below zero on the indicator show bullishness in the sense that prices may turn around. However, in this case the lines continue moving in a downward trend, so we may not have seen the bottom of zinc prices just yet.

What this Means for Industrial Buyers

During recent weeks, the main industrial metals tracked by MetalMiner showed weakness. Will this be temporary or are we looking at a more cyclical movement into bear market territory?

While aluminum prices look relatively stable, copper and zinc prices appear weaker, with no clear signal given that the downturn has passed.

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Therefore, while it’s too soon to call a bear market, it’s also too soon to say we’ve avoided one.

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The International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG) released its most recent 2019 forecast for lead and zinc, forecasting a lead surplus, while zinc demand is forecast to exceed supply.

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Lead Surplus

The ILZSG forecast a lead surplus of 71,000 tons in 2019.

Global lead demand declined 0.2% in 2018, but is forecast to jump 1.2% this year to reach 11.87 million tons. According to the ILZSG, an increase in usage in India, Japan and the Republic of Korea will help offset an expected 1.1% decline in China’s lead usage.

Meanwhile, lead usage is also forecast to rise in the U.S. and Europe, by 1.1% and 1.8%, respectively.

On the supply side, world lead mine production is forecast to increase in 2019 by 1.8%, reaching 4.75 million tons. The increase comes largely on the back of expected increases in lead mine production in China and India, in addition to expected increases in Canada, Europe and South Africa.

Refined lead metal output is forecast to rise 2.5% up to 11.94 million tons, also primarily on the back of increases in China and India. In addition, refined output from Australia is forecast to surge 14.3% in 2019.

Zinc Demand to Rise 0.6%

Unlike lead, zinc is forecast to be in deficit this year, with demand exceeding supply by 121,000 tons.

Zinc demand is forecast to increase 0.6% in 2019, according to the ILZSG, to reach 13.77 million tons.

Usage is forecast to rise 0.7% in Europe, with increases also expected in India and Mexico.

On the supply side, zinc mine production is forecast to rise 6.2% in 2019 (compared with 1.3% in 2018). As with lead, zinc mine production is expected to surge in Australia (29.4%), powered by a rise in production at the “Dugald River, McArthur River and Lady Loretta mines together with increases at the recently commissioned Century and Woodlawn tailings projects.”

Meanwhile, U.S. zinc mine production is forecast to fall 2.3% this year.

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Refined zinc output is forecast to increase 3.6% to 13.65 million tons, which includes a bounceback in China’s output (expected to rise 5.3% this year after a 3.1% decline in 2018).

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This morning in metals news, Brazilian miner Vale SA has plans to invest approximately $2.5 billion over the next five years in dry iron ore processing, Rusal reported a drop in its first-quarter profits and copper prices bounced back.

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Processing Plans

Miner Vale SA announced it plans to invest approximately $2.5 billion in dry iron ore processing at its operations.

The investment will be made over the next five years. Currently, approximately 60% Vale’s production comes from dry processing; the miner aims to make dry iron ore processing account for 70% of its production.

Dry iron ore processing does not require water, which means there is no need for dams and tailing are not generated. In January, a dam collapse at Vale’s Corrego do Feijao mine in Brumadinho led to hundreds of deaths.

Rusal Profits Slide in Q1

Still feeling the bite of U.S. sanctions that were then in effect, Rusal reported its Q1 profits fell to $300 million from $531 million last year, Reuters reported.

The U.S. sanctions were removed in January; after being applied in April 2018, aluminum prices skyrocketed on fears of Rusal aluminum being taken off the market.

Copper Prices Bounce Back

After dropping to a 15-week low, the copper price picked back up Tuesday (despite the conclusion of U.S.-China trade talks last week without a deal).

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LME copper picked up 0.7% to reach $6,049.50 per ton, according to Reuters.

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This morning in metals news, President Donald Trump added sanctions on Iran targeting its metals industry, Rio Tinto is shipping more aluminum to Europe and ArcelorMittal reported its Q1 2019 financial results.

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Trump Targets Iran’s Metals Sector

A year on after withdrawing from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, President Donald Trump took aim at Iran’s largest source of non-oil export revenue: metals.

On Wednesday, the president signed an executive order imposing sanctions on Iran’s metals industry, including exports of iron, steel, aluminum and copper.

Rio Tinto Supplying More Aluminum to Europe

According to Rio Tinto CEO Jean-Sebastien Jacques, the miner has begun to ship greater volumes of aluminum to the European market amid flagging U.S. demand, Reuters reported.

The CEO cited the ongoing U.S.-China trade conflict as a factor contributing to the decline in U.S. demand.

Although negotiations between the U.S. and China continued this week, tensions escalated as President Donald Trump has threatened to increase the rate on a previously announced $200 billion in tariffs from 10% to 25%, setting a Friday deadline for the increase. The tariffs were originally imposed in September, with the tariff rate increase scheduled for Jan. 1 before the two countries reached an agreement on a negotiating timetable.

ArcelorMittal Reports Q1 Results

Steelmaker ArcelorMittal reported EBITDA of $1.7 billion in Q1 2019, down from $2.0 billion in Q4 2018.

Steel shipments were up 7.9% from Q4 2018 “primarily due to higher steel shipments in Europe (+14.4%) due in part to the acquisition of ArcelorMittal Italia (following its consolidation from November 1, 2018) and NAFTA (+2.8%), offset in part by lower steel shipments in Brazil (-5.7%).”

“Our first quarter results reflect the challenging operating environment the industry has faced in recent months,” ArcelorMittal Chairman and CEO Lakshmi Mittal said. “Profitability has been impacted by lower steel pricing due to weaker economic activity and continued global overcapacity, as well as rising raw material costs as a result of supply-side developments in Brazil.”

Mittal also addressed high import levels, even after Europe’s approval of steel safeguard measures earlier this year.

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“We continue to face a challenge from high levels of imports, particularly in Europe, where safeguard measures introduced by the European Commission have not been fully effective,” Mittal said. “Although we are somewhat encouraged by the firmer price environment in China, this is not being reflected in Europe where in order to adapt to the current market environment we have recently announced annualized production cuts of three million tonnes in our flat steel operations. It is important there is a level playing field to address unfair competition, and this includes a green border adjustment to ensure that imports into Europe face the same carbon costs as producers in Europe.”

The Copper Monthly Metal Index (MMI) dropped slightly this month, from 79 last month to an index value of 78 for May.

Mild price decreases of less than 1% hit nearly all the prices in the index, with the exception of the Japanese copper cash price (which increased by less than 0.5%).

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LME copper prices struggled to hold onto $6,500/mt during the past couple of months and recently dropped back again to trade in the $6,200/mt range.

Source: MetalMiner analysis of FastMarkets

Looking at the bright red line, the price now trades below the uptrend line drawn from the start of 2019, indicating price weakness.

At best, the price is stuck trading in a sideways band at the moment.

From a technical perspective, it appears that we may have recently seen the completion of what is called a “short-term double-top” type of formation — albeit a fairly short and flat one — which indicates further price declines (see points A and B).

Weakening Global Growth Impacted Copper Prices

Looking at recent trading volume — moderate but negative for several weeks now — prices seem likely to stay in flat territory for the foreseeable future. However, unlike some of the other industrial metals, copper managed to hold some of its price gains made this year.

Source: MetalMiner analysis of FastMarkets

Recent demand concerns have led to weakening prices. According to Codelco Chief Commercial Officer Roberto Ecclefield, demand for copper should grow by 2.3% this year, while mine production could slip by 0.5%, with smelter output flat. Therefore, he does not see this price slump lasting long.

According to Bloomberg, Codelco also forecasts a shortage in concentrate as new smelter capacity in China coming online this year increases competition for supplies, with the shortage growing during the second part of the year.

What This Means for Industrial Buyers

Copper’s bullish sheen receded of late, so now is the time to watch the market carefully for buying opportunities.

For more specific guidance, following our support and resistance price guidelines, request a free two-month trial of our Monthly Metal Buying Outlook.

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Actual Copper Prices and Trends

This month, most of the copper prices in the index fell; however, all of the price decreases were mild at under 1%.

India’s copper cash price decreased by nearly 1%, as did China’s primary cash, copper bar and copper wire, as well as the LME primary 3-month price.

The May Aluminum Monthly Metals Index (MMI) held flat at 88 for the third month running, with gains in Chinese aluminum prices negated by weak LME prices.

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LME aluminum prices trended downward throughout April, down to recent January 2019 lows. However, prices seemed to find support again around $1,800/mt in the early days of May.

Source: MetalMiner analysis of FastMarkets

The price basically retraced back to January lows, losing all of the gains made during 2019.

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SHFE Aluminum

SHFE aluminum prices continued to increase, with a higher per ton price of around $2,100/mt.

Source: MetalMiner analysis of Fastmarkets

Based on the most recent production figures from the International Aluminum Institute, although March production levels in China increased by 10% over February 2019, Chinese production levels when compared with March 2018 only increased by 1%. During Q1 in total, Chinese production registered at 8.9 million mt, versus 8.8 million mt the year prior — a 1.6% increase over 2018.

Supply Concerns Fade, but Deficit Anticipated in 2019

With global demand for aluminum outpacing supply, the LME price decline could be a temporary weakness.

Aluminum has been caught up in the general negative pricing momentum industrial metals saw during the past few weeks, as the dollar showed strength. As the dollar strengthens, metal prices tend to weaken. However, if demand conditions deteriorate, the price declines could stick, or the price could continue to move sideways on weakened demand.

According to Alcoa’s most recent quarterly report, a global aluminum deficit of aluminum in the range of 1.5 million mt to 1.9 million mt is estimated for 2019. However, the company estimate was revised down from the range of 1.7 million mt to 2.1 million mt given in the company’s prior quarterly report. This indicates the company anticipates some moderation of global growth, with its estimates revised down to the 2-3% range from 3-4%, stating lower demand growth in China, particularly lower transportation and electrical sector demand.

Midwest Aluminum Premium

The U.S. Midwest Premium continued to hold at the historic high of $0.19/pound during April.

What This Means for Industrial Buyers

LME aluminum prices weakened along with other base metals prices last month, showing downward momentum; prices remain within range of a sideways trend. Prices could hold, then continue to rise further once more or move lower from here depending on overall supply and demand factors at large. It’s also possible the sideways pricing band will continue to hold on weakened demand. Even in a sideways market, it’s important to watch the market carefully for buying opportunities in order to buy on dips.

For more specific pricing guidance related to aluminum and aluminum products, buying organizations may want to request a free trial now to our Monthly Metal Buying Outlook.

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Actual Metal Prices and Trends

Chinese aluminum prices led the index this month, with increases in the range of 2.7% to 2.8%.

The LME primary 3-month price declined by 5% (the biggest decrease in the aluminum basket).

European and Korean prices also declined, but more mildly (in the range of around 1%).

The Automotive Monthly Metals Index (MMI) dropped two points this month, down to a reading of 91 for May.

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U.S. Auto Sales

General Motors and Ford Motor Co. have turned to a quarterly sales reporting schedule, moving away from the traditional monthly reporting model. GM made the switch last year, with Ford following suit earlier this year.

However, the two automakers recently announced Q1 earnings. GM reported net revenue of $34.9 billion, down 3.4% year over year, and income of $2.1 billion, up 93.2% year over year (GM’s first-quarter sales fell 7% year over year). Ford, meanwhile, reported net revenue fell $1.6 billion to $40.3 billion, while income fell $600 million to $1.1 billion (Ford’s first-quarter sales fell 1.6% year over year).

Similarly, Fiat Chrysler announced earlier this month that it will start reporting on a quarterly basis beginning Oct. 1. For April, Fiat Chrysler sold 172,900 vehicles in the month compared to 184,149 vehicles in April 2018, a decrease of 6.1%.

In other news for the automaker, Reuters reported Friday that Fiat Chrysler entered into a $307.5 million settlement with about 100,000 U.S. owners of Fiat Chrysler diesel vehicles because of illegal software that caused the vehicles to emit excess emissions.

U.S. Honda sales edged up 0.1% in April, with car sales down 3.4% and truck sales up 3.1%.

“As industry sales continue to level off, we are increasing our share of the market through the strength of our car and truck lineups and our disciplined approach to sales,” said Henio Arcangeli Jr., senior vice president of automobile sales at American Honda Motor Co. “The compact SUV segment remains a bright spot for both Honda and Acura brands in 2019, with CR-V the outright retail sales leader in the industry’s largest segment, and the Acura RDX the fastest growing model in the compact luxury SUV segment in 2019 and the top-selling retail model.”

Nissan sales rose 9% year over year, with Nissan Altima sales up 59%.

Toyota sales fell 4.4% on a volume basis and 8.6% on a daily selling rate basis. Toyota recently announced Novelis Inc. would supply it with aluminum automotive body sheet for the new 2019 RAV4.

Hyundai reported auto sales picked up 1% to 55,420 vehicles in April 2019.

For the industry overall, MarketWatch reported April sales fell 6.1%, down to their lowest level since October 2014.

Tesla, Panasonic Relationship Under Stress

MetalMiner’s Stuart Burns last month touched on the TeslaPanasonic relationship after Panasonic announced it would not invest in an expansion of Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory.

The Japanese firm manufactures battery cells for Tesla’s EV batteries.

“Output was meant to double next year, but after citing financial reasons the two companies have said they intend to increase production from the existing equipment rather than invest in more capacity,” Burns wrote. “Tesla’s record as a mass manufacturer has come in for considerable criticism over the last 18 months, first with repeated delays in deliveries of the Model 3 and now apparent significant underutilization of the battery plant.”

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Actual Metal Prices and Trends

The price of U.S. HDG fell 4.4% month over month to $881/st as of May 1. U.S. platinum bars rose 4.5% to $886/ounce. U.S. palladium bars fell 2.6% to $1,365/ounce.

Chinese primary lead fell 1.7% to $2,482.06/mt. LME copper dropped 0.9% to $6,435/mt. U.S. shredded scrap steel fell 3.3% to $321/st.