Now that the summer’s officially over, we can say that it’s been anything but boring – even though steel market prices have been afflicted with a bit of malaise, there have been some interesting developments in the raw materials markets.
“Natural gas released from fracking in the U.S. has decimated the thermal and metallurgical coal market there and encouraged US coal producers to look for exports, which in turn has impacted the European and Asian markets.”
“Tubular steel products producers everywhere are hoping shale gas will continue to drive 8-percent-per-year growth in demand as the tracking industry continues to consume oil country tubular goods (OCTG) on an ever-increasing scale.”
“The gist of the paper was that the region’s automotive OEMs are pushing back against the use of raw material escalators in the pricing of the steel products they consume and a review of some alternative approaches that are gradually gaining traction.”
You will have to be quick if you are to pick up the fashion accessory of the year.
The retailer Asos, who has built their reputation on supplying must-have fashion items, as worn by icons of the screen, has exceeded itself this month by producing a new line of such limited availability that the items could be priceless.
“The fact is, though, that while Alcoa is musing over a possible half-million tons of possible cuts, it is bringing on-stream 740,000 tons of new smelting capacity in Saudi Arabia. Overall, the company’s capacity will rise even with the cuts; it will merely move it down the cost curve. This is critical if the firm is to continue to do well in the low-price environment expected for the short to medium term.”
While remembering the true meaning of Memorial Day – honoring the men and women who have fought and died for the United States – we’re remembering some of the more effective pieces we’ve put together for MetalMiner readers over the past several months.
“We hope readers will excuse us for writing about the cost dynamics on a fairly frequent basis. Price and supply movements often happen in small steps and a rolling picture can be better than a quarterly in-depth report. Today we ask, could stainless prices – at least austenitic nickel-bearing stainless prices – have bottomed?”
“The ferrous scrap market has been a reflection of the finished steel market this quarter – at least in Europe and Southeast Asia, according to Delphica, a Ukrainian steel market analytics firm. A recent report advised the market as being characterized by poor buyer interest in light of weak finished steel demand and ample supplies, in spite of a temporary stoppage on Ukrainian exports.”
“What do investigators now know? At this point, we have to believe investigators now definitely know the following: 1. Who made the pressure cooker 2. Possibly when it was made and where it was likely shipped/sold (perhaps to a wholesaler, or big box retailer) based on the additional markings in the first photo, particularly if those numbers include a serial number 3. With a serial number, one can likely track the approximate production date and to whom the pressure cooker was shipped (e.g. big box retailer) 4. If the investigators can confirm the alloy, then they also know the mechanical, chemical and physical properties of the exact pressure cooker in question, which would allow the forensic team to simulate the explosion and glean additional details.”
Hope everyone has a happy, healthy and safe Memorial Day.
As we’ve followed the Caltrans/Bay Bridge project debacle (the San Francisco Chronicle’s reporting has been very good), we’ve decided to have a bit of fun at the expense of those who have massively screwed up (NO PUN INTENDED! But I’m leaving it in).
So without further ado, a poem:
O Caltrans, poor Caltrans
The transport agency that must take the fall
For shoddy sourcing of shoddy workmanship
For a bridge that in no way could hold all
The cars that would be driving on the sparkling new expanse over the Bay
Come Labor Day.
Hark! Oh hark – what’s that we hear?
Must we now steer very clear
Of the Sept. 3 opening date upon which many a construction worker’s career