Steel

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This morning in metals news, the U.S. steel capacity utilization rate reached 80.7% for the year through March 28, steel industry workers in the Great Lakes region tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and copper clawed back some gains Tuesday.

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The coronavirus pandemic has made its mark on supply chains, leaving some companies looking for relief.

[Any cash influx for your business counts, especially now. View MetalMiner’s recent webinar on how to check if you are eligible for Section 301 tariff refunds and what steps to take to speed up the refund and get a cash influx into your business ASAP!]

For some, that means petitioning for tariff relief, particularly from President Donald Trump’s Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs.

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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 coverage here on MetalMiner, including coverage of: U.S. housing starts; aluminum mills taking steps to make their operations more green; iron ore prices; and the European steel sector.

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This morning in metals news, U.S. Steel announced a number of measures in response to the coronavirus crisis and falling oil price, concerns have been raised regarding cleaning procedures at a Michigan steel mill, and Republican senators have asked President Donald Trump to roll back trade barriers amid the coronavirus outbreak.

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Europe’s steelmakers are cutting production and idling factory lines as an industry already buckling under a severe market downturn girds itself for the economic fallout from coronavirus, the Financial Times reports.

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Companies such as Thyssenkrupp and Tata Steel have taken action because of falling orders, a lack of available personnel or as a safety precaution against infections, while market leader ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel producer, has reduced output at most of its plants on the continent.

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rolled aluminum on table with worker

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This morning in metals news, U.S. unemployment insurance claims soared last week as the coronavirus outbreak intensified, Thyssenkrupp announced 3,000 layoffs and the United States Trade Representative (USTR) said there had been progress in enforcing some provisions of the recently signed Phase One trade deal with China.

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Like in other countries, the outbreak of COVID- 19 and the subsequent lockdown threatens to disrupt India’s steel production.

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What’s more, there are reports coming in now that Indian steel companies will face even more competition from rivals in China in this state of crisis, adding to the woes of the former.

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This morning in metals news, the U.S. Senate is prepared to vote on a $2 trillion stimulus package Wednesday, U.S. steel imports are down 21% and U.S. Steel is idling its Lorain tubular plant.

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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.

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Although housing starts in the U.S. in February declined compared with January, they rose 39.2% compared with starts in January 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

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