Archive | Aluminium/Bauxite

Is Endlessly Recyclable Aluminum The Answer To The Global Recycling Crisis? – by Ariel Knoebel (Forbes Magazine – August 13, 2019)

https://www.forbes.com/

As of August 20, San Francisco International Airport will no longer allow plastic water bottles in airport terminals of foodservice and retail locations. According to the airport’s website, this is “part of an effort to address plastic pollution and the recent collapse of the plastic recycling market.”

China banned imports of foreign plastic for recycling in January 2018. Too much contaminated waste was coming into the country, creating environmental hazards.

Before the ban, 95% of recycled plastics from the EU and 70% from the US were sent to China for processing. In the past six months, Americans have been struggling to continue recycling programs across the country, as processing prices have jumped, and many facilities have stopped accepting many types of plastics. Continue Reading →

Aluminum producers in Canada cash in on U.S. tariff exemption – by Pratima Desai and Nichola Saminather (Reuters Canada – July 23, 2019)

https://ca.reuters.com/

LONDON/TORONTO (Reuters) – Canada’s exemption from U.S. tariffs on imports of aluminum metal has boosted earnings at the Canadian operations of companies such as Rio Tinto and Alcoa, but has not cut costs for U.S. consumers.

In May, the United States lifted the Section 232 tariff of 10% imposed on Canadian imports of aluminum, a vital ingredient for auto makers, drinks firms and military equipment companies.

Aluminum costs for U.S. consumers are the benchmark price on the London Metal Exchange at around $1,810 a tonne plus the physical market premium, around $400 a tonne. Analysts say $192 of the premium is the tariff non-exempt producers pay. Continue Reading →

Mining Giant to Spend Billions to Halt Indonesian Metal Imports – by Eko Listiyorini and Tassia Sipahutar (Bloomberg/Yahoo Finance – July 18, 2019)

https://finance.yahoo.com/

(Bloomberg) — Indonesia plans to spend billions of dollars in building aluminum and nickel smelters as it seeks to cut reliance on imports of finished metal and stem exports of raw minerals.

State-owned PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium will earmark as much as $10 billion over the next five years to develop refineries and smelters, according to President Director Budi Gunadi Sadikin. The investment will be made by the company and its units including nickel and bauxite miner PT Aneka Tambang, he said.

Indonesia is seeking to reshape its mining industry by making it mandatory for miners to build smelters after decades of free exports of raw materials left it reliant on costly imports to meet demand. Continue Reading →

Alcoa-Rio Plant Workers Give in, ‘Exhausted’ From Lock-Out – by Sandrine Rastello and Matthew Townsend(Bloomberg News – July 3, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

An 18-month labor dispute at an aluminum smelter in Quebec controlled by Alcoa Corp. ended after workers accepted a deal, defying the recommendation of their union’s leadership.

On Tuesday, about 80% of workers at the Aluminerie de Bécancour Inc. voted to ratify the offer after a meeting of the United Steelworkers in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, the union said. Alcoa said in a statement that the restart will begin on July 26, and is expected to be complete in the second quarter of 2020.

The deal, which covers everything from pension financing to the use of subcontractors, follows months of failed attempts to revive negotiations after more than 1,000 union workers were locked out in January 2018. Last week, Alcoa threatened to idle the entire facility if workers don’t sign what it called a “final offer.” Continue Reading →

Alcoa Gets Tough With Union by Threatening to Idle Quebec Plant – by Matt Townsend (Bloomberg/Yahoo Finannce – June 27, 2019)

https://finance.yahoo.com/

(Bloomberg) — After 18 months of often contentious labor talks with the United Steelworkers union at an aluminum smelter in Quebec, Alcoa Corp. has threatened to idle the entire facility if workers don’t sign what it’s calling a “final offer.”

Aluminerie de Bécancour, a joint venture in which Alcoa controls a 75% stake and Rio Tinto Group owns the rest, made a proposal that expires on July 5. If it’s not signed, the already-curtailed production will be totally suspended, Pittsburgh-based Alcoa said Wednesday in a statement.

Union workers were locked out of the facility in January 2018, and some operations continued to be run by managers. At full capacity, the plant known as ABI could produce 413,000 metric tons of aluminum a year, but that had been cut back to about a sixth of that, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. Continue Reading →

Analysis:Steel and aluminum tariffs are gone, so now what? – by Elise von Scheel (CBC News Politics – May 20, 2019)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/

Deal includes provision to watch for foreign dumping, allows U.S. to impose tariffs again in rare cases

A deal was reached on Friday to end the metal tariff battle between Canada and the U.S. Steel and aluminum imports from Canada will no longer be taxed, but that doesn’t mean all the problems are over.

The new NAFTA still has to be ratified and the protectionist administration in the U.S. is still causing anxiety in Canada. Here’s what you need to know about the tariffs deal and what happens next.

The American tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum — 25 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively — disappeared as of today. Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced on Monday that Canada lifted its retaliatory countermeasures against the U.S., according to a news release from the Department of Finance Canada. Continue Reading →

Canada, U.S. and Mexico reach deal to lift Trump administration’s steel and aluminium tariffs – by Adrian Morrow and Lawrence Martin (Globe and Mail – May 17, 2019)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland have scheduled an announcement in Hamilton Friday, where they are expected to announce a deal to lift the Trump administration’s steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico.

Mr. Trudeau spoke with U.S. President Donald Trump Friday on tariffs and other trade matters, the Prime Minister’s office said. A Canadian official said Mr. Trudeau and Ms. Freeland will announce the deal today.

The agreement will end the continental trade war that has raged for most of the last year. But sources in industry and government on both sides of the border cautioned that Canada is not out of the woods yet: Canada will likely have to agree to tough new export rules on its metals industry that will benefit the U.S. in exchange for the end of tariffs. Continue Reading →

‘Farmers are hurting’: Rising pressure on U.S. agriculture key to removal of steel tariffs from Canada, Mexico – by Naomi Powell (Financial Post – May 16, 2019)

https://business.financialpost.com/

Faltering U.S.-China trade talks, rising tariff pressure on American farmers and a rapidly disappearing opportunity to ratify the new North American Free Trade Agreement are fuelling Washington’s renewed push to negotiate the removal of steel and aluminum levies from Canada and Mexico, analysts say.

“I think we are close to an understanding with Mexico and Canada,” on resolving the tariffs, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said at a U.S. Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing Wednesday. He not provide any details about the potential agreement.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland was in Washington Wednesday to push for the removal of the tariffs during meetings with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. Continue Reading →

Column: Chinese outages a reminder of aluminium’s dirty secret – by Andy Home (Reuters U.K. – May 16, 2019)

https://uk.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – Chinese alumina prices have jumped to a five-month high on news that at least two refineries in the province of Shanxi are being shut down pending environmental inspections.

So far the market impact seems localised. Shanghai aluminium prices have risen on concerns about the potential knock-on effect on metal production in China. Alumina is the intermediate product derived from bauxite used to smelt aluminium.

But the price of alumina traded on the CME is unmoved, reflecting expectations that the giant Alunorte alumina refinery in Brazil is poised to receive official sign-off to return to full production after more than a year of operating at half capacity. Continue Reading →

Freeland renews push to remove steel, aluminum tariffs during Washington trip – by Mike Blanchfield (Canadian Press/Global News – May 14, 2019)

https://globalnews.ca/

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is bound for Washington to meet with Trump trade czar Robert Lighthizer in a renewed push to get punitive steel and aluminum tariffs lifted.

The meeting at the United States trade representative’s Washington office is to take place on Wednesday but Freeland will also venture to Capitol Hill for a meeting with the influential Republican chair of the Senate finance committee, Chuck Grassley.

“We continue to lobby very assertively for the lifting of the tariffs. We’re at a point where we need to do everything we can and talk to everyone we can about why we see these as unjust,” a senior government source said Tuesday, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the ongoing dispute. Continue Reading →

Rusal’s first quarter profits fall as sanctions impact lingers – by Polina Ivanova (Reuters U.S. – May 14, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

(Reuters) – First quarter net profit halved at United Company Rusal year-on-year as the lingering effects of U.S. sanctions and depressed global prices hit the Russian aluminum giant.

However the weak performance is likely to be a one-off event, analysts said, as Rusal continues on the road to recovery following 10 months under U.S. sanctions that severely limited its operations and sent shockwaves through global aluminum markets.

In late January Washington lifted the sanctions, imposed on Rusal and its co-owner Oleg Deripaska in April 2018, after intense negotiations and a series of organizational changes within Rusal. Continue Reading →

Financing deals, deficit to buttress physical aluminum prices – by Pratima Desai (Reuters U.S. – May 9, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – Aluminum tied up in financing deals and collateral for loans, shortages and inventory draws will sustain prices in the physical market even as funds expecting sluggish demand sell derivatives.

Financing deals involve buying aluminum now and selling it forward for a higher price and profit after storage and interest costs have been deducted. These deals are often on a monthly basis and rolled over, but traders say some recent deals go out to December 2019 and March 2020.

Physical premiums in Europe, paid above benchmark London Metal Exchange prices around $1,800 a tonne, fell to $60 a tonne early January in anticipation of the removal of sanctions on Russian aluminum giant Rusal. Continue Reading →

Column: Rusal’s political comeback powered by “green” aluminium – by Andy Home (Reuters U.K. – May 8, 2019)

https://uk.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – Political rehabilitation doesn’t get much better. Just over a year ago Russian aluminium producer Rusal was hit with swingeing sanctions by the U.S. government.

The company’s owner, Oleg Deripaska, was accused of a litany of misdeeds by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), all of which he denied, and his sprawling industrial empire, including Rusal, was slapped with secondary sanctions.

Those sanctions were lifted in January after Deripaska agreed to reduce his control in Rusal. Just three months later in April Rusal landed a major equity and supply deal with Braidy Industries, which is planning a state-of-the-art aluminium rolling mill in Kentucky. Continue Reading →

Column: Aluminium’s bull narrative is lost in the shadows – by Andy Home (Reuters U.K. – April 29, 2019)

https://uk.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – “This is a tangible, clear story which is really going to effect price, spreads and premiums”. The story in question, according to Eoin Dinsmore, head of primary aluminium and products research at CRU, is a building supply deficit in the aluminium market.

Dinsmore’s presentation at the research house’s aluminium conference in London last week was titled: “Don’t doubt the deficit”. Yet hardly anyone outside of the aluminium market believes in this unfolding bull narrative.

Financial players are “simply not interested” in aluminium, according to Colin Hamilton, managing director of commodities research at BMO Capital Markets. Continue Reading →

China slams province for failing to curb polluting industries (Reuters Africa – April 22, 2019)

https://af.reuters.com/

SHANGHAI, April 23 (Reuters) – China’s environment ministry reprimanded provincial officials in Shandong, the country’s biggest aluminium producing province, for failing to comply with policies to cut coal consumption and curb the growth of highly polluting aluminium output.

Shandong has been a key part of China’s efforts to curb pollution in the industrial north, but it has struggled to find cleaner forms of growth.

Seven of the province’s cities were set targets to cut smog over the winter, but only one – Jining – managed to do so. Continue Reading →