Industry News

hot rolled steel

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This morning in metals news: the U.S. steel sector’s capacity utilization rate rose to 71.1% last week; WTI crude oil has bounced back up over the last week; and Arconic recently released its Q3 financial results.

The MetalMiner 2021 Annual Outlook consolidates our 12-month view and provides buying organizations with a complete understanding of the fundamental factors driving prices and a detailed forecast that can be used when sourcing metals for 2021 — including expected average prices, support and resistance levels.

U.S. steel capacity utilization up to 71.1%

U.S. steel mills posted a capacity utilization rate of 71.1% for the week ended Nov. 7, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported.

Mills produced 1.57 million net tons during the week, up 1.0% from the previous week. Production during the week, however, fell 13.7% on a year-over-year basis.

Capacity utilization during the same week in 2019 reached 78.8%.

WTI crude bounces back

In addition to capacity utilization, the oil price is another factor MetalMiner considers in its long-term forecasting.

After dipping below $40 per barrel, the WTI crude price has bounced back.

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U.S. $100 bills

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This morning in metals news: the price of copper rose and the dollar weakened on the heels of Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 U.S. presidential election; Outokumpu released its Q3 financial results; and, finally, a metal service center based in Burns Harbor, Indiana, could be set to expand nationally.

The MetalMiner 2021 Annual Outlook consolidates our 12-month view and provides buying organizations with a complete understanding of the fundamental factors driving prices and a detailed forecast that can be used when sourcing metals for 2021 — including expected average prices, support and resistance levels.

Copper gains, dollar falls on Biden win

With former Vice President Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election against incumbent Republican President Donald Trump, many’s eyes will turn to the development’s potential impact on markets. (MetalMiner’s Stuart Burns offered his analysis on the subject on Friday.)

The price of copper rose close to $7,000 per metric ton, Reuters reported.

Meanwhile, the dollar weakened. The dollar index dipped to just over 92 after starting the week just over 94.

Outokumpu releases Q3 results

Helsinki-based Outokumpu reported Q3 EBITDA of €10 million ($11.9 million), down from €45 million in Q3 2019.

“The market in Europe was difficult due to increased import pressure from Asia, resulting lower prices and typical seasonality, leading to a challenging quarter for business area Europe with adjusted EBITDA amounting to EUR 9 million,” President and CEO Heikki Malinen said in a release.

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mergers and acquisitions

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This morning in metals news: Nucor Corporation has reached an agreement to acquire the Precoat Metals Corporation’s paint line facility in Armorel, Arkansas; Constellium recently released its Q3 financial results; and the U.S. HRC price continues to rise.

The MetalMiner 2021 Annual Outlook consolidates our 12-month view and provides buying organizations with a complete understanding of the fundamental factors driving prices and a detailed forecast that can be used when sourcing metals for 2021 — including expected average prices, support and resistance levels.

Nucor to buy Arkansas paint line facility

Nucor plans to acquire the Precoat Metals Corporation paint line facility in Armorel, Arkansas, the steelmaker announced recently.

“The paint line facility, located near the Nucor Steel Arkansas sheet mill campus, has a capacity of approximately 250,000 tons per year,” Nucor said in a release. “Nucor considered building a greenfield paint line before deciding to acquire the Precoat Metals facility.”

Constellium reports Q3 financial results

Aluminum product manufacturer Constellium reported Q3 net income of €20 million (U.S. $23.7 million) compared to net income of €1 million ($1.2 million) in Q3 2019.

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Manufacturing worker in China

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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 China Manufacturing PMI, U.S. construction spending and Western European hot-rolled coil transactions:

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Week of Nov. 2-6 (China Manufacturing PMI, construction spending and more)

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steel imports

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This morning in metals news: the U.S. has seen rising imports of blooms, billets and slabs; the power sector’s coal consumption dropped significantly in the first half of this year; and copper prices trended sideways this week.

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U.S. imports of blooms, billets and slabs rise

U.S. imports of blooms, billets and slabs surged during the July-September 2020 period compared with the October 2019-June 2020 period, per Steel Imports Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) system.

Total imports of blooms, billets and slabs jumped 489% to 50,110 tons during the July-September 2020 period.

Meanwhile, imports of blooms, billets and slabs from India jumped 2,954% to 18,333 tons during the July-September 2020 period.

In other SIMA trend data, U.S. imports of steel piling from China jumped 532%. Imports of tin plate from China jumped 448% to 6,152 metric tons.

Coal consumption declines

The U.S. power sector’s coal consumption fell by 30% during the first half of 2020 compared with the first half of 2019, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported.

“After setting an annual record of 1,045 MMst in 2007, coal consumption in the electric power sector has been declining,” the EIA said. “This decline is happening as many coal-fired power plants are retiring or are converting to natural gas, driven by tighter air emission standards and the decreased cost-competitiveness of coal relative to other resources.”

Copper trends sideways

As the U.S. awaits the final results of the 2020 presidential election, the copper price has taken a breather.

The copper price closed Wednesday at $6,760 per metric ton after closing last week at $6,706 per metric ton.

However, over a one-month period, the copper price is up 3.69%.

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

nickel

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This morning in metals news: the nickel price has gained to start the week; Reliance Steel and Aluminum Co. recently released its Q3 results; and, finally, the U.S. imported $19 billion in energy goods from Mexico last year.

The MetalMiner 2021 Annual Outlook consolidates our 12-month view and provides buying organizations with a complete understanding of the fundamental factors driving prices and a detailed forecast that can be used when sourcing metals for 2021 — including expected average prices, support and resistance levels.

Nickel price gains

The LME three-month nickel price gained over the first two sessions of the week.

Closing Tuesday at $15,384 per metric ton, the LME three-month nickel price gained $236 per metric ton over the previous 24 hours.

On a month-over-month basis, nickel is up 6.8%.

Reliance releases Q3 results

In its Q3 financial results, Reliance Steel and Aluminum posted pretax income of $127 million, up from $102 million in Q2 2020.

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London Metal Exchange

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Readers of a recent Financial Times article reporting the opposition of major primary aluminum producers Norsk Hydro and Hindalco Industries to the LME’s proposed “green aluminum” contract may feel the primary producers are swimming against the tide of history.

Aluminium is a core material needed for increasing efficiency and lowering carbon dioxide emissions by reducing weight and improving recycling. (Copper and lithium also fall under this category.)

Exhibiting low-carbon footprints themselves is increasingly becoming a deciding factor for manufacturers choosing one supply source over another.

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

‘Green aluminum’ contract

The LME’s proposed “green aluminum” or low-carbon aluminum contract intends to help determine to what extent the global market is willing to pay a premium for aluminum that meets an as yet undetermined carbon threshold. That threshold is mooted in the LME’s Sustainability Discussion Paper, available here, to be about 4.5 kg of CO2 per kg of aluminum.

By contrast, the average for Europe is 8.6 kg. For China – where much of primary production is based on coal-fired power production – it is about 20 kg.

To be fair, the LME does not appear totally wedded to the idea yet.

It is consulting with the market to test the appetite for voluntary disclosure of a producing mill’s product. As such, a mechanism can be developed to measure the willingness of consumers to pay a premium for warrants that met a lower carbon content. Russia’s Rusal or En+ material and — ironically you may think in light of the opening paragraph — Norsk Hydro’s metal typically meets this low-carbon threshold. Much of their production is based on hydropower, with carbon contents estimated to be even below 4 kg.

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hot rolled steel

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This morning in metals news: the U.S. steel sector’s capacity utilization rate for the week ended Oct. 31 jumped to 70.4%; Cleveland-Cliffs said the Trump administration will take action under Section 232 vis-a-vis imports of laminations and imported grain-oriented electrical steel (GOES); and, finally, the LME three-month primary aluminum price picked up to start the week.

The MetalMiner 2021 Annual Outlook consolidates our 12-month view and provides buying organizations with a complete understanding of the fundamental factors driving prices and a detailed forecast that can be used when sourcing metals for 2021 — including expected average prices, support and resistance levels.

Steel capacity utilization rises to 70.4%

The U.S. steel sector’s capacity utilization rate continued to make incremental gains last week, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI).

U.S. steel mills tallied a capacity utilization rate of 70.4% during the week ended Oct. 31, up from 69.7% the previous week.

Production during the week ended Oct. 31 reached 1.56 million net tons, up 1.0% from the previous week. The weekly total, however, marked a 13.7% year-over-year decline.

Cleveland-Cliffs praises Trump administration for Section 232 action

Earlier this year, the Trump administration launched a Section 232 probe covering laminations and wound cores.

On Monday, Cleveland-Cliffs praised the Trump administration, saying it planned to take action using Section 232.

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The Department of Commerce made a preliminary determination in its anti-dumping investigation covering non-refillable steel cylinders imported from China.

The MetalMiner 2021 Annual Outlook consolidates our 12-month view and provides buying organizations with a complete understanding of the fundamental factors driving prices and a detailed forecast that can be used when sourcing metals for 2021 — including expected average prices, support and resistance levels.

DOC rules steel cylinders dumped from China

The DOC determined China dumped the steel products into the U.S. at margins between 57.83% and 114.58%.

The domestic petitioner in the case is Worthington Industries of Columbus, Ohio.

“As a result of today’s decisions, Commerce will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to collect cash deposits from importers of non-refillable steel cylinders from China based on the preliminary rates noted above,” the DOC said in a release last week.

Imports of non-refillable steel cylinders reached a value of $21.5 million in 2019, per the DOC.

The U.S. International Trade Commission will make its final determination in the case by Feb. 22, 2021.

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China steel plant

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This morning in metals news: the China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell slightly from the previous month; Ford Motor Co. released its Q3 financial results; and, finally, Oslo-based Norsk Hydro recently released its Q3 financials.

The MetalMiner 2021 Annual Outlook consolidates our 12-month view and provides buying organizations with a complete understanding of the fundamental factors driving prices and a detailed forecast that can be used when sourcing metals for 2021 — including expected average prices, support and resistance levels.

China Manufacturing PMI down

The China Manufacturing PMI fell 0.1% in October, down to 51.4%, the National Bureau of Statistics reported Monday.

After plummeting to 35.7 in February, the China Manufacturing PMI has been over 50 every month since.

Ford releases Q3 financials

Ford reported Q3 revenue of $37.5 billion, up from $37.0 billion in Q3 2019.

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