Archive | Steel and Stainless Steel Industries

Sault steel mill prepares to build new $55-million alternative port – by David Helwig (Northern Ontario Business – March 16, 2018)

Essar Steel Algoma Inc. is seeking regulatory approvals for a new $55-million alternative port facility, apparently prepared to pull the plug on its existing arrangements with Port of Algoma Inc.

Recently filed court documents disclose that the Sault steelmaker started looking into building a port of its own last August.Early concepts included floating structures, fixed structures or a combination of both.

A prefeasibility investigation conducted for Algoma by a design and construction company concluded earlier this year that a fixed structure for docking ships and unloading raw material was feasible as an alternative to the existing Sault port, subject to securing necessary regulatory approvals. Continue Reading →

Canada’s Trudeau tells metal workers: ‘We have your backs’ – by Allison Lampert (Reuters Canada – March 12, 201)

MONTREAL (Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised aluminum and steelworkers on Monday he would defend them against possible U.S. tariffs and called U.S. President Donald Trump to stress that“mutually beneficial” cross-border supply chains should be preserved.

Trump said last week he would impose import tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent for aluminum, effective later this month, but exempted Canada after an intense lobbying campaign arranged by Ottawa.

“We are ready to take action whenever action is required … we had your backs last week and we always will,” Trudeau said after visiting a Rio Tinto Ltd (RIO.AX) (RIO.L) smelter in Alma, Quebec, his first stop on a tour this week of Canada’s steel and aluminum regions. Continue Reading →

Despite tariff reprieve, aluminum industry expected to keep investment under wraps – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – March 12, 2018)

After receiving a stay of execution on punitive import tariffs imposed by the United States the Canadian aluminum industry can breathe a little easier, but companies are unlikely to make major investment decisions under the status quo.

On Thursday, U.S. President Donald Trump exempted Canada and Mexico from new 10-per-cent aluminum tariffs that will soon apply to the rest of the world. The final outcome for Canada will depend on how the ongoing North American free-trade agreement talks proceed, the President said.

Mr. Trump justified the tariffs on national security grounds, specifically the need to secure a domestic supply of metals such as aluminum, for the manufacture of military equipment. Continue Reading →

Rio Tinto says US tariffs terrible for world trade but no threat to iron ore – by Brad Thompson (Australian Financial Review – March 7, 2018)

One of Rio Tinto’s most senior executives has warned that the last thing the world needs is a trade war sparked by the Trump administration’s protectionism.

Rio Tinto iron ore chief executive Chris Salisbury said the threat by US President Donald Trump to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports raised the prospect of a destabilising trade conflict.

“As a mining company we rely on free flow of trade around the world,” he said. “We don’t get a choice in where the resources are and we need to get those resources to our customers, so anything that impedes that obviously does concern us.” Continue Reading →

Canada, Mexico to gain temporary exemption from U.S. tariffs on steel – by Adrian Morrow, Lawrence Martin and Rachelle Younglai (Globe and Mail – March 8, 2018)

Canada and Mexico will be spared from President Donald Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum while the three countries renegotiate NAFTA, with a permanent exemption if they agree to a deal that satisfies the President, the White House said on Wednesday.

The move allows Mr. Trump to avoid slamming the heavily integrated continental steel and aluminum industries while still using the threat of tariffs to crank up the pressure on his negotiating partners to agree to his protectionist demands at the bargaining table.

The President took to Twitter on Thursday morning to say he would hold a meeting at 3:30 p.m. at the White House over the planned tariffs of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum, and that the United States must show flexibility toward its allies. Continue Reading →

Trump waves threat of steel tariffs over NAFTA talks – by Adrian Morrow (Globe and Mail – March 6, 2018)

U.S. President Donald Trump is threatening to hit Canada and Mexico with hefty tariffs on steel and aluminum until the two countries agree to a renegotiated NAFTA, rolling two looming trade battles into a single protectionist attack.

Canada and Mexico are pushing back, insisting the two fights must not be linked and keeping up a full-court press to stop Mr. Trump’s tariffs. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tried to warn Mr. Trump off tariffs, telling him in a telephone call on Monday that levies would make it harder to strike a deal.

Canada and Mexico have powerful allies in the United States, with senior Republican politicians demanding that he change his mind and mulling passing a law to stop him. Continue Reading →

How should Canada respond to Trump’s tariffs? First, do nothing – by Andrew Coyne (National Post – March 6, 2018)

With the world on the brink of a global trade war, the president of the United States turned to Twitter to broadcast his delight.

“When a country (U.S.A.) is losing many billions of dollars on trade with virtually every country it does business with, trade wars are good, and easy to win,” he advised. “Example, when we are down $100 billion with a certain country and they get cute, don’t trade anymore — we win big. It’s easy!”

Don’t trade any more. As always with Donald Trump, nothing about any of this is normal. The decision to impose tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum from every other nation on earth, proximate cause of the latest crisis, was made on the fly, without a word of warning to allies, Congress or his own officials, reportedly because the president was in a bad mood. Continue Reading →

Trump’s tariff gambit to face first political test in heart of steel country – by David Shribman (Globe and Mail – March 5, 2018)

Donald Trump said last week that he welcomed a trade war. This week, he will find out if he gets one. And next week he may discover if his initiative to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, motivated as much by domestic politics as by economic policy, will have the intended effect at the ballot box and boost Republican electoral prospects.

This week the United States’ largest trading partners, including Canada, will begin to learn the details of the Trump plan, which White House officials originally insisted would provide no carve-outs or exemptions, even for countries with deep and well-established trade relationships.

But the insight that Allan Gotlieb, Canada’s ambassador to the United States from 1981 to 1989, added to the permanent wisdom of Washington may apply here and could work to Canada’s benefit: No decision in the American capital ever is final. Continue Reading →

U.S. unveils steep tariffs, raising peril of trade war – by Steven Chase, Greg Keenan and Adrian Morrow (Globe and Mail – March 2, 2018)

U.S. President Donald Trump is firing the first shot in what could amount to a global trade war, announcing plans to slap hefty tariffs on foreign imports of steel and aluminum as a means of protecting American jobs.

The Canadian government was quick to threaten retaliation against the United States if steel and aluminum from Canada are included in the administration’s trade action.

Mr. Trump said on Thursday he intends to levy 25-per-cent tariffs on steel imports and 10-per-cent on aluminum imports, sending U.S. stock markets tumbling over fears of global retaliation and higher inflation. Continue Reading →

‘Trade wars are good, and easy to win’: Trump’s tariff threat sends shock waves around world – by Jonathan Stearns and Thomas Biesheuvel (Financial Post/Bloomberg – March 2, 2018)

Trump’s aggressive stance has stoked fears of trade retaliation and roiled global markets. Here are the developments so far

After President Donald Trump said the U.S. plans to impose 25 per cent tariffs on steel imports and 10 per cent on aluminum, the shock waves are being felt around the world. Asia’s up in arms, the European Union and Canada are pushing back, and there are plenty of forecasts that U.S. consumers are set to pay a whole bunch more for all sorts of purchases. Think beer cans to autos.

While the exact form of the curbs remains unclear — especially whether U.S. allies will win exemptions — the reaction on Friday from outside the world’s biggest economy has been largely negative. Beyond metals, the biggest risk is a tit-for-tat trade war, which draws in other products, possibly foods. We’re following developments here. The time-stamps are New York.

Donald Trump’s plan to curb U.S. imports of steel on national-security grounds threatens the foundations of the World Trade Organization, warned the European Steel Association. Continue Reading →

Trump says U.S. to impose steep tariffs on steel, aluminum imports – by Steve Holland and Ginger Gibson (Reuters U.S. – March 1, 2018)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump announced on Thursday he would impose hefty tariffs on imported steel and aluminum to protect U.S. producers, risking retaliation from major trade partners like China, Europe and neighboring Canada as well as helping to trigger a large selloff on Wall Street.

Trump said the duties of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum would be formally announced next week although White House officials later said some details still needed to be ironed out.

Trump believes the tariffs will safeguard American jobs but many economists say the impact of price increases for consumers of steel and aluminum, such as the auto and oil industries, will be to destroy more jobs than they create. Continue Reading →

Canada Signals ‘Trade War’ in Seeking Steel, Aluminum Exemptions – by Danielle Bochove, Josh Wingrove and Kristine Owram (Bloomberg News – March 1, 2018)

Canada is vowing to retaliate if U.S. President Donald Trump makes good on his pledge to impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminum producers — while holding out hope that it could be exempt.

Trump said he intends to slap a 25 percent duty on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum in order to protect the national industry, though details remain unclear. His words sent U.S.-based producers rallying but could hurt companies that ship steel and aluminum from Canada, including Rio Tinto Group and Stelco Holdings Inc., without an exemption.

Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said that Canada buys more than half of American steel, resulting in a $2 billion surplus for the U.S. She also said it’s “entirely inappropriate” for the U.S. to consider the country a threat to national security. Continue Reading →

Chinese steelmaking sparks mini-revival for ailing coal industry – by Josh Siegel (Washington Examiner – February 6, 2018)

Consol Energy saw a record year at its coal export terminal in Baltimore in 2017, serving ships bound for Asia and Europe. The company mined some of the coal itself from its three sites in southwestern Pennsylvania, mostly in the form of traditional thermal — or steam — coal, used for electricity generation.

But much of the coal came from other U.S. companies mining lesser-known metallurgical — or coking — coal, the high-temperature type used in steelmaking. It’s this type of coal, marked for export, that sparked a mini-revival for the downtrodden industry last year.

“We expect globally coal will continue to be cost-effective and prevalent,” said Jim McCaffrey, Consol’s senior vice president of marketing, in an interview with the Washington Examiner. “We will see some lumpy years. No doubt about that. But our cost picture puts us in a great position to ride out bad times and enjoy the good times.” Continue Reading →

GRAPHIC-China demand and tight supplies set to sustain nickel price rally – by Zandi Shabalala (Reuters U.S. – January 30, 2018)

LONDON, Jan 30 (Reuters) – A combination of surging China imports, tighter supplies and fund interest are expected to sustain prices of stainless steel ingredient nickel, which have reached their highest level in more than two years.

Benchmark nickel on the London Metal Exchange hit $14,040 a tonne on Monday, the highest since May 2015 and a gain of more than 55 percent since June.

“The fundamental story for nickel has started off well and it is looking good for at least the next couple of years,” said Wood Mackenzie analyst Adrian Gardner. Wood Mackenzie forecasts a deficit of between 80,000-90,000 tonnes this year following a deficit of similar levels in 2017. Continue Reading →

Commerce secretary gives Trump options to fight steel and aluminum dumping, including higher tariffs – by Lori Ann LaRocco (CNBC – January 22, 2018)

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has recommended to President Donald Trump a wide range of options to deal with aluminum and steel dumping in the U.S., including potentially higher tariffs, sources told CNBC.

The options also include specifically targeting “bad actors” in other countries that are active in imports of the metals. Trump and his administration announced the Section 232 investigation into steel and aluminum in April 2017. The investigation was to determine whether the imports posed a threat to the country’s national security.

Trump has 90 days to review the so-called 232 report’s findings and recommendations. The president would then decide on what course of action to take. Continue Reading →