Archive | Steel and Stainless Steel Industries

RPT-COLUMN-Nickel bubble deflates but a bear trap may be opening – by Andy Home (Reuters U.S. – December 5, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON, Dec 5 (Reuters) – The nickel price bubble is slowly deflating but bears would be advised to tread carefully with a sharp fall in LME inventory threatening a repeat of the time-spread turbulence that rocked the London market in late September.

London Metal Exchange (LME) nickel surged to a five-year high of $18,850 on Sept. 2, from $12,000 per tonne at the start of July, as Indonesia brought forward to a ban on exports of nickel ore to January.

But the exuberance has dissipated with short-term fund money pulling out to leave LME three-month metal around $13,100 per tonne currently. While nickel may be on the electric vehicle (EV) investment grid because of its use in lithium-ion batteries, an old driver is reasserting itself – namely the state of the stainless steel market. Continue Reading →

Cliffs to buy AK Steel in $1.1 billion stock deal – by Jim Lovrien (Deluth News Tribune – December 3, 2019)

https://www.duluthnewstribune.com/

Cleveland-Cliffs, which owns several Minnesota and Michigan iron ore mines and taconite plants, will buy steelmaker AK Steel in a $1.1 billion stock deal, the companies announced Tuesday morning.

The move allows Cliffs to own AK Steel’s existing blast furnaces and electric arc furnaces, and supply the furnaces with its own iron ore pellets. Cliffs had long sold its pellets to other steelmakers.

That “vertically integrated steel company” model is used by U.S. Steel, which mines taconite and produces iron ore pellets at Keetac in Keewatin and Minntac in Mountain Iron that then supplies its blast furnaces throughout the U.S., and ArcelorMittal, which supplies its Indiana Harbor blast furnaces with pellets from its mines and plants at Hibtac in Hibbing and Minorca in Virginia. Continue Reading →

UPDATE 7-Trump, citing U.S. farmers, slaps metal tariffs on Brazil, Argentina – by Andrea Shalal and Gabriel Stargardter (Reuters Africa – December 2, 2019)

https://af.reuters.com/

WASHINGTON/RIO DE JANEIRO, Dec 2 (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump ambushed Brazil and Argentina on Monday, announcing he would restore tariffs on U.S. steel and aluminum imports from the two countries in apparent retaliation for currency weakness he said was hurting U.S. farmers.

“Effective immediately, I will restore the Tariffs on all Steel & Aluminum that is shipped into the U.S. from those countries,” Trump wrote in an early morning tweet that sent officials from both countries scrambling for explanations from Washington. He added that Brazil and Argentina were “presiding over a massive devaluation of their currencies.”

In fact, the opposite is true: Both countries have actively been trying to strengthen their respective currencies against the dollar. The real and the peso have been buffeted by weakness partially linked to Trump’s trade battle with China. Continue Reading →

SpaceX Unveils Silvery Vision to Mars: ‘It’s Basically an I.C.B.M. That Lands’ – by Kenneth Chang (New York Times – September 29, 2019)

https://www.nytimes.com/

“Mr. Musk originally had planned to use high-tech carbon fiber,
but switched to denser stainless steel. It is cheaper, easier to
work with, becomes stronger in the ultracold temperatures of space
and has a higher melting temperature that can more easily withstand
the heat of re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere.”

BOCA CHICA VILLAGE, Tex. — As you drive east along Texas State Highway 4, it looks like a giant, shiny and pointy grain silo is rising out of the scrubby flatland at the tip of southern Texas. But it is the first version of a spaceship design that Elon Musk, the entrepreneur and founder of the rocket company SpaceX, hopes will be humanity’s first ride to Mars.

Within a month or two, he says optimistically, this prototype of the Starship spacecraft — without anyone aboard — will blast off to an altitude of 12 miles, then return to the ground in one piece.

“It’s going to be pretty epic to see that thing take off and come back,” Mr. Musk said late on Saturday at a SpaceX facility outside Brownsville, Tex., where Starship is being built. Continue Reading →

China steel, iron ore rise on hopes of demand recovery – by Enrico Dela Cruz (Reuters India – September 30, 2019)

https://in.reuters.com/

MANILA, Sept 30 (Reuters) – China’s steel and iron ore futures jumped in early trade on Monday, with construction material rebar up more than 4%, after the country’s central bank vowed to step up efforts to lift a slowing economy.

While spot markets have been generally quiet since last week ahead of a long holiday in China, sentiment got a further boost from a private business survey showing China’s factory activity expanded at the fastest pace in 19 months in September.

The most-traded rebar contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange, with January 2020 expiry, rose as much as 4.3% to 3,580 yuan ($502.74) a tonne. Hot-rolled steel coil, used in cars and home appliances, jumped up to 2.2% to 3,527 yuan a tonne. Continue Reading →

Exclusive: China’s Tsingshan roils nickel market with buying spree – by Pratima Desai and Tom Daly (Reuters U.S. – July 19, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON/BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese firm Tsingshan Holding Group has been buying large quantities of stainless steel ingredient nickel on the London Metal Exchange (LME) to supplement its own output, two sources familiar with the matter said. They could not specify the amounts Tsingshan has bought.

Nickel prices slid to their lowest for the year in the second quarter as investment funds sold on the expectation of slowing demand from Chinese stainless steel mills as economic activity came under pressure from the U.S.-China trade war.

But as unexpectedly higher demand numbers started to trickle out, the same funds rushed to cut their bets on lower prices. Continue Reading →

Steel mills to the rescue as Rio’s iron mines hit four-year low – by Peter Ker (Australian Financial Review – July 16, 2019)

https://www.afr.com/

Strong Chinese steel production is papering over cracks in Rio Tinto’s flagship iron ore division, where production over the past six months slumped to the lowest level in four years.

Rio’s Australian iron ore mines provided just 93 per cent of the iron ore shipped by the company in the three months to June 30, forcing Rio to draw down 5.7 million tonnes of stockpiled iron ore. Those stockpiles were worth almost $1 billion based on the $US119.25 per tonne that iron ore was fetching on Monday.

The weak statistics published by Rio’s most important division on Tuesday only bolster expectations that 2019 will be the first year since the turn of the century that Rio’s Australian iron ore exports will fall sequentially. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-China’s iron ore, steel prices diverge as trade war vies with supply woes – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.S. – June 18, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

LAUNCESTON, Australia, June 18 (Reuters) – China’s iron ore and steel prices have decoupled somewhat in recent weeks, with the raw material still making fresh highs while the finished product trends lower.

While there are solid supply-driven reasons for iron ore’s relative outperformance, the question remains: how is the current divergence likely to be resolved?

Iron ore futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange closed at 769.5 yuan ($111.20) a tonne on Monday, down slightly from their record close of 787.5 yuan on June 14. 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 →

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 →

Could Northern Ontario produce its own stainless steel? – by Lindsay Kelly (Northern Ontario Business – May 10, 2019)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Could Northern Ontario manufacture its own stainless steel using chromite from the Ring of Fire? It was a popular topic of conversation during the 2019 gathering of the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM).

Held May 8-10 in Sudbury, the conference welcomed close to 200 representatives from member municipalities scattered across northeastern Ontario, who discussed best practices, along with new challenges they’re facing following the April release of the provincial budget.

With the conference following on the heels of the announcement that Noront Resources had selected Sault Ste. Marie for its chromite smelter to process ore from the Ring of Fire, industrial energy costs was another hot topic amongst attendees. Continue Reading →

Iron ore shortage after Vale disaster hurting Brazil steelmakers: report (Reuters U.S. – April 15, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – A decision by Brazilian mining company Vale SA to halt production at ten sites in Minas Gerais state following a deadly dam disaster has affected deliveries of iron ore pellets to clients, newspaper Valor Econômico reported on Monday, citing industry sources.

Vale is trying to resolve the problem by bringing iron ore pellets produced in the northeastern state of Maranhão to clients in the southeast. The longer distances involved are adding to transportation costs, Valor said.

Vale did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Valor report. 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 →