IRON and STEEL
President Donald Trump took a victory lap on Twitter Friday, saying aluminum prices are down about 12% since his tariffs were implemented.
While Trump’s figure is mostly accurate, as far as the price of the metal trade on the London Metal Exchange is concerned, the President failed to point out that the impact of tariffs were reflected mostly in added cost U.S. buyers pay to have the metal delivered. Those premiums soared 26% since he announced the levies on shipments on March 1, 2018, muting the impact of lower global prices.
The price of the metal traded in London has tumbled 12.8% amid mounting concerns that a persistent trade war between the U.S. and China may slow global growth, crimping demand for industrial metals including aluminum.
Trump also cited the jobs he created. While Century Aluminum Co. added 205 jobs last year, that’s not enough to make up for the 600 jobs lost at Alcoa Corp., the largest U.S. aluminum producer. In total, the industries involved in making the refined metal added 300 jobs from April to January, according to Emily Crowley, a principal economist at IHS Markit in Washington.
This week Indian HRC prices witnessed marginal increase in domestic market post recent hike by major Indian steel mills by INR 500-1000/MT in the beginning of this month.
SteelMint learned from industry participants that imported scrap trades in Bangladesh have remained slow as current prevailing offers in the market are comparatively high against buyers’ expectation and other subcontinental markets.
The International Monetary Fund has forecast a deepening recession for Iran's economy this year, projecting real GDP growth of -6% in 2019 after a contraction of 3.9% the year before.
Kuwait will back an extension of OPEC-led production cuts beyond June if it's clear supply and demand factors warrant it, Haitham al-Ghais, Kuwait Petroleum Corp's manager for market research and the country's OPEC governor, said Wednesday.
Activity in the ICI 4 derivatives market increased again today after a relatively slow start to the month last week, with another 25,000t cleared on the CME after 20,000t traded yesterday.
With President Donald Trump’s apparent plans to nominate Stephen Moore and Herman Cain to the Federal Reserve Board, attention has turned once again to the gold standard, a policy option once advocated by both men. Trump himself has expressed admiration for the gold standard.