Archive | Steel and Stainless Steel Industries

Donald Trump’s loss relieves fears of future U.S. steel tariffs under Biden – by Bobby Hristova (CBC News Hamilton – November 8, 2020)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/

Hamilton’s steelworkers and those tied to the industry can sleep easier knowing Donald Trump lost the U.S. presidential election — and his tariffs on steel likely won’t be returning anytime soon.

Roughly 40,000 Hamilton jobs hinge on the steel industry and Keanin Loomis, president of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, said he’s excited by the idea of Canada and the U.S. becoming allies again with Joe Biden in office.

“The spectre of tariffs that was constantly hanging over our heads for the last couple of years is now gone, so when you look at the damage that could have been done over the next four years, if [Trump] had been elected, I think we avoided a lot of uncertainty,” Loomis said in an interview on Sunday. Continue Reading →

Cleveland-Cliffs acquires ArcelorMittal’s U.S. assets for $1.4 billion in stock and cash – by John Caniglia (Cleveland.com – September 28, 2020)

https://www.cleveland.com/

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The iron-ore mining company, Cleveland-Cliffs Inc., has acquired the U.S. assets of ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steelmaker, for $1.4 billion in cash and stock, the companies announced Monday.

The acquisition means Cleveland-Cliffs will become the largest flat-rolled steel producer in the country, and the largest producer of iron-ore pellets, the company said.

The deal comes just months after Cleveland-Cliffs purchased AK Steel Holding Corp. for $1.1 billion in stock. Continue Reading →

Recovering Chinese steel output is boosting zinc price over short term – by Marleny Arnoldi (Mining Weekly – September 8, 2020)

https://www.miningweekly.com/

On the back of a stronger-than-expected rebound in economic growth in China, research agency Fitch Solutions Macro Research has revised upward its zinc price forecast for the year.

Initially, the agency anticipated a $2 100/t zinc price, but has revised it to $2 200/t, compared with a zinc price of $2 507/t at the end of 2019.

Zinc prices had fallen by 17.3% on average over the first three months of this year, but have since recovered to post new highs for the year, at a current price of about $2 483/t. Continue Reading →

Trump considering reinstating tariffs on Canadian aluminum and steel imports – by Adrian Morrow (Globe and Mail – June 19, 2020)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

The Trump administration is floating the possibility of reimposing tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum imports amid lobbying from American producers, and has been in talks with Ottawa.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lightizer told congressional hearings Wednesday that rising metals imports are “a problem with Canada that we’re working on.”

“There have been surges on steel and aluminum,” he said. “It’s something that’s of genuine concern.” Continue Reading →

HOW MUCH BALONEY IS IN THE RING OF FIRE SANDWICH? – by Frank Smeenk (June 18, 2020)

In a recent Sudbury Star article titled Stalled Ring of Fire worth
more than $117 billion, Carleton University Geology Professor
Dr. James Mungall asked “How much is the Ring of Fire really worth?”

Frank Smeenk is the President and Chief Executive Officer of KWG Resources Inc.

Stainless steel is approximately 18% chrome and 8% nickel with iron constituting most of the remaining 74%. A decade ago, the private Chinese enterprise Tsingshan Group, started to establish facilities in Indonesia to produce large quantities of nickel pig iron to make stainless steel there by adding ferrochrome melt made with coal-generated electricity.

In the first half of 2017 Indonesia produced no stainless steel. Now, Tsingshan produces up to 3 million tons per year there. This will increase to 4 million tons next year. That is about 8% of global production, from zero less than 30 months ago!

With that, Chinese companies currently generate more than 50% of global stainless-steel production. They intend to increase that as the world’s consumption of non-corroding steels continues to grow. This is a big boys’ game that Canada has just been suited-up for!

When chrome-containing chromite was discovered in an area of northern Ontario known as the Ring of Fire, China’s state-owned steelmaker, Baosteel, made a strategic investment in Noront Resources. It’s a Canadian exploration company with significant mining claims in the Ring of Fire. Continue Reading →

Nickel Rush Restarts As Steel And Battery Demand Rises – by Tim Treadgold (Forbes Magazine – June 4, 2020)

https://www.forbes.com/

China’s rapid exit from its Covid-19 lockdown has triggered the restart of a rush for nickel, an old-fashioned metal mainly used in making stainless steel, but also a key ingredient in the batteries of electric vehicles.

While not yet attracting the eye of investors in the same way iron ore has with its 30% rise to $100 a ton there has been a strong flow of deals and a hint of stockpiling ahead of a possible nickel shortage.

Over the past two months the price of nickel has risen by 15%, admittedly off a pandemic low of $5 a pound to $5.75, potentially heading back to $8/lb, where it was last October. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-Are resilient iron ore, steel and coking coal having a Wile E. Coyote moment? – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.S. – March 19, 2020)

https://www.reuters.com/

LAUNCESTON, Australia, March 19 (Reuters) – China’s iron ore and steel markets appear to be taking a risky bet that Beijing’s yet-to-be-announced stimulus measures will be enough to offset a looming global recession as the coronavirus spreads across the world.

But there is an increasing risk that they may be having a Wile E. Coyote moment, the one where the hapless Road Runner-chasing cartoon coyote goes over the edge of a cliff and hangs in midair until he realises he is about to plummet into a deep canyon.

Iron ore, Shanghai steel futures and Australian coking coal have up until now been sharing something that is increasingly at odds with virtually every other commodity, namely that their prices have held up in the face of mounting economic gloom. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-China virus outbreak a further risk to iron ore, steel outlook – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.S. – January 23, 2020)

https://www.reuters.com/

LAUNCESTON, Australia, Jan 23 (Reuters) – The risk to commodity demand from the spread of a new flu-like virus in China has so far focused on crude oil and related products such as jet fuel, but the iron ore and steel markets will also be keeping a nervous watching brief.

The effective quarantining of Wuhan, a city of 11 million people where the new strain of coronavirus emerged, sounds like a major step to combat the virus which has so far killed 17 people and infected several hundred more.

That the move comes on the eve of the Lunar New Year holidays, which typically see millions of Chinese travel to visit family and friends, underlines the disease’s danger. Continue Reading →

Attack on aluminum is unmerited – by Lauren Wilk (Automotive News – January 20, 2020)

https://www.autonews.com/

Lauren Wilk is the Vice president, policy and international trade for the Aluminum Association.

If the facts are not on your side, pound the table and yell like hell — an old saying that evokes the steel industry’s latest environmental attack against the aluminum industry (“Manufacturing materials count in vehicles’ impact on planet,” Dec. 9).

When the largest material by volume regularly focuses attention on the second most used material, it suggests grave concern. Perhaps it is because, as DuckerFrontier recently confirmed again, aluminum is the fastest-growing automotive material, gaining market share from steel, year over year.

When steel industry studies boast that steel is the greatest, perhaps skepticism is merited. Here’s what independent experts confirm: Continue Reading →

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 →