Archive | Aluminium/Bauxite

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 →

Canada shouldn’t ratify new trade deal until steel, aluminum tariffs end: Steelworkers – by Kerri Breen (Global News – March 31, 2019)

https://globalnews.ca/

The head of Canada’s steelworkers’ union says the federal government should refuse to ratify the new North American trade deal until U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum have been lifted.

Ken Neumann told The West Block‘s Mercedes Stephenson that Ottawa needs to “draw a line in the sand” on the matter. It’s been nearly a year since the Trump administration imposed a 25 per cent tariff on imports of steel from Canada and 10 per cent on aluminum.

The measure prompted the Canadian government to impose $16.6 billion in retaliatory tariffs on American goods such as whiskey and washing machines. Continue Reading →

Guinea risks ‘conflict and confusion’ with mining eviction policy – by Nellie Peyton (Reuters U.K. – March 21, 2019)

https://uk.reuters.com/

DAKAR, March 21 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Civil society groups rejected Guinea’s first policy seeking to protect people displaced by mines and dams on Thursday, saying it would worsen poverty and conflict in the mineral-rich nation.

Seven human rights and development organisations asked the government not to adopt the proposed national standards for relocating and compensating displaced communities, and to spend the next six months consulting with local people instead.

“If the document is adopted like this, it means the problem will never be resolved,” said Mamady Koivogui, executive director of the Association for Mines Without Poverty, one of the groups which hosted a Conakry news conference on Thursday. Continue Reading →

Column: New controversy engulfs London Metal Exchange’s warehouses – by Andy Home (Reuters U.K. – March 13, 2019)

https://uk.reuters.com/

Long load-out queues earlier this decade generated media scandal, a flurry of legal action and intense regulatory scrutiny of the exchange. The ensuing raft of reforms to its storage network appeared to have laid the issue to rest.

Not so. At the end of February, there was a 229-day queue to get aluminium out of warehouses in Malaysia’s Port Klang. That’s business days, not calendar.

Some of that metal is at the centre of a dispute between the warehouse operator, ISTIM, and trading powerhouse Glencore, which has lodged a complaint with the LME. The argument turns on the minutiae of the exchange’s labyrinthine warehouse rules but the underlying problem remains the same as ever. Continue Reading →

Rio Tinto start-up team to shape future growth – by Luke Housego (Australian Financial Review – March 10, 2019)

https://www.afr.com/

Rio Tinto chief executive Jean-Sébastien Jacques says a new internal start-up team that will work across the group’s operations will help shape how the resources giant looks in the decades to come.

“We’ve been around for 137 years – I have no doubt in my mind that the Rio you will experience in 10 or 20 years from now will be very different from the Rio today,” Mr Jacques said.

“Because I’m an old-timer from that perspective – what resonates with me I know will not resonate with my daughters or resonate with the next generation of people who run Rio Tinto.” Continue Reading →

‘Nice and dirty’: Rio’s new mine taps aluminium boom – by Darren Gray (Sydney Morning Herald – March 9, 2019)

https://www.smh.com.au/

Construction jobs always involve a few risks, but for the workers who built Rio Tinto’s new $2.6 billion Amrun bauxite mine on Cape York, some of the safety procedures were particularly unique.

The advice to workers was quite snappy, much like the risk sometimes observed in the water or on the riverbanks in the area: always keep at least six metres from the water’s edge, always face the water when near it, and, of course, always carry a big stick.

Because a potential threat, which is also spelt out in large signs at a ferry terminal Amrun mine workers must travel through en-route to work, is of a potential crocodile attack. Continue Reading →