Archive | Steel and Stainless Steel Industries

Deal to help struggling Sault steel plant – by Elaine Della-Mattia (Sault Star – May 12, 2018)

The United Steelworkers Local 2251 and 2724 have reached a tentative agreement with Algoma’s secured creditors. The tentative agreement, reached late Wednesday but finalized Thursday morning, helps pave the way for Algoma to emerge from bankruptcy protection.

Mike DaPrat, president of Local 2251, said the unions have been in negotiations for about two-and-a-half years. “We felt it was important that we get a fair collective agreement for our members. We’ve had our ups and downs and stops and starts,” he told The Sault Star.

But in the end, DaPrat believes the tentative agreement reached with the secured creditor’s group is fair. It offers no concessions and some improvements, he said. The membership will be the first to hear the details In the coming days, he said. Meeting dates, location and time have yet to be established. Continue Reading →

Stainless steel glut builds in China as Indonesia ups output – by Maytaal Angel (Reuters U.S. – May 3, 2018)

LONDON (Reuters) – An abundance of stainless steel in China following the ramp up of new production in Indonesia is threatening stainless mills globally and the nickel producers that supply them.

Marking a major structural shift, China, which makes and consumes around half of the world’s stainless, became a marginal net importer of hot-rolled stainless coil in December for the first time in more than seven years, data from the International Steel Statistics Bureau and from consultants CRU showed.

This is after Chinese-owned stainless giant Tsingshan started production last August at a giant plant in Indonesia that should, by the end of 2018, have an annual capacity of 3 million tonnes.This is equivalent to 6 percent of last year’s global flat stainless capacity, CRU says, and there is more to come, with China’s Delong Holdings set to start production at its Indonesian stainless plant in 2019. Continue Reading →

As steel tariffs squeeze U.S. businesses, uncertainty threatens economic growth – by Don Lee (Los Angeles Times – April 29, 2018)

“We’re in the dark, just like everybody else,” said an executive of a West Coast steel importer. “This administration has been supposedly pro-business, but business doesn’t like uncertainty,” groused a distributor of stainless steel, who, like others, requested anonymity to avoid antagonizing officials.

These should be good times for American manufacturers, construction firms, canners and others that use industrial metals for their business. The U.S. economy is perking along, and tax cuts and global growth are helping boost demand.

But since President Trump abruptly slapped hefty tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of imported steel and aluminum on March 23, the outlook has turned hazy for many — downright bleak for some. Continue Reading →

Ottawa bolsters rules to prevent dumping of cheap metals in U.S. – by Greg Keenan (Globe and Mail – March 28, 2018)

The federal government is moving to block cheap offshore steel and aluminum that could be funnelled to the United States through Canada to avoid tariffs Washington has placed on several countries.

The actions announced on Tuesday will be taken after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau assured U.S. President Donald Trump that Canada will not become a back door for countries seeking to avoid the 25-per-cent tariff on steel and 10-per-cent levy on aluminum announced by the U.S. government earlier this month.

Canada was granted an exemption after intense lobbying, but the exemption is temporary until May 1. Whether it is extended or made permanent depends partly on Canada blocking its own borders to cheap offshore steel and aluminum and on progress in the negotiations to revamp the North American free-trade agreement. Continue Reading →

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 →