This morning in metals news, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has reportedly locked down a mining province for 48 hours, the U.S. steel sector’s steel capacity utilization rate is 81.7% for the year through March 14 and Ford provided an update on its North American operations amid the coronavirus crisis.
This morning in metals news, China’s aluminum production through the first two months of the year was up despite the coronavirus outbreak, Rio Tinto offered an update on measures being undertaken at the Oyu Tolgoi project and the Federal Reserve has cut rates to nearly zero.
Before we head into the weekend, let’s take a look back at the week that was and some of the coverage here on MetalMiner, including: Tesla’s reported interest in cobalt-free batteries; the oil price crash; falling aluminum prices; supply-chain challenges amid the COVID-19 outbreak; Trump’s travel suspension; and global cobalt mine production:
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.
In response to the coronavirus outbreak, the U.S. will bar travel from Europe for 30 days, beginning late Friday, said U.S. President Donald Trump in an Oval Office address to the nation Wednesday night.
He said the U.K., which recently separated from the European Union after the prolonged Brexit debate, is not part of the ban.
Falling infection rates to the lowest level since January and President Xi Jinping’s visit to Wuhan yesterday suggest all is returning to normal in China.
Some are looking for a V-shaped bounce back and maybe even a softer hit to Q1 GDP growth than previously feared.
A Reuters poll of Economists reported last week a revised growth forecast for the first quarter, falling to a median of 3.5% this quarter from 6.0% in the fourth quarter of 2019 — optimistically, a full percentage point lower than predicted in their last poll Feb. 14.
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.
Heard of Europe’s Green Deal? No?
That may not be surprising, as it was only announced last month. While it sounds like the latest fruit and veg special offer at your local supermarket, it is likely to be one of the most profound policy changes to hit Europe since the formation of the Common Agricultural Policy or the creation of the Euro — or so says Nick Butler, chair of the Policy Institute at Kings College London, writing in the Financial Times this week.
The Green Deal was announced by new European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and in brief, is a commitment by the E.U.’s 27 member states to achieve zero net carbon emissions by 2050.
The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) issued affirmative final determinations in its anti-dumping and countervailing subsidy investigations of fabricated structural steel imports from China, Canada and Mexico.
The DOC issued final determinations in its anti-dumping probe for China, Canada and Mexico, while issuing affirmative determinations in its parallel countervailing duty probe for China and Mexico (the DOC issued a negative determination in the countervailing duty probe for Canada).
Steel companies and mining companies in India have heaved a sigh of relief after the federal government amended the prevailing mining law to permit the “seamless transfer” of regulatory approvals to new owners of operational iron ore mines, the Economic Times reported.
Earlier the week, the government amended the Mines & Minerals (Development & Regulation) Act to ensure smooth transfer of ownership.
The lease of 334 non-captive mineral mines will expire March 31 this year. Of these, 46 mines are operational, 26 of which are iron ore mines.
When the lease expires, all will go on the auction list as per the mining law. However, for some time now there have been apprehensions that the auction round would not be concluded as scheduled.