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Canada's aluminium association to request removal of re-exported Ali lines from retaliatory duty list

Base Metals Market - Mon, 06/04/2018 - 22:22
The Aluminium Association of Canada is assessing the list of aluminium products that could be subject to retaliatory duties following the United States' imposition of Section 232 tariffs to identify lines that may be re-exported multiple times during complex manufacturing processes.
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Major aluminium associations release plan to create global overcapacity forum

Base Metals Market - Mon, 06/04/2018 - 21:36
The aluminium industry associations of the United States, the European Union, Canada and Japan have called for the creation of a Global Multilateral and Governmental Forum on Aluminium Overcapacity to drive development of an international plan to shrink world production.
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Canada’s aluminium association to request removal of re-exported Ali lines from retaliatory duty list

Base Metals News - Mon, 06/04/2018 - 21:22

The Aluminium Association of Canada is assessing the list of aluminium products that could be subject to retaliatory duties following the United States’ imposition of Section 232 tariffs to identify lines that may be re-exported multiple times during complex manufacturing processes.

The industry group will request that these lines are reduced from the Canadian government safeguard duty list.

The problem is that aluminium items in varying stages of processing could attract the 10% tariffs imposed by the Canadian and US governments every time they cross the border. The risk is heightened due to the integrated nature of American and Canadian manufacturing – for instance, in the automotive sector.

Speaking to Metal Bulletin, Jean Simard, the association’s president and chief executive officer, said he thought that the number of affected aluminium products would be relatively small, with most targeted lines being exported only once. As a result, the association is not pressing the federal government to avoid levying tariffs on all affected re-exports.

Simard said that the imposition of the US tariffs would wipe out gains that the Canadian sector has enjoyed from the recent increase in prices of the US Midwest aluminium premium. This followed the announcement of the Section 232 duties in March (from which Canada initially was exempt), US sanctions against Russian aluminium producer Rusal and the slashing of alumna production at the Alunorte refinery in Brazil. Simard claimed US buyers of Canadian aluminium would insist that the producers pay the new duties, reducing exporting margins dramatically.

The post Canada’s aluminium association to request removal of re-exported Ali lines from retaliatory duty list appeared first on FastMarkets.

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Québec government to press US to exempt province's smelters from Section 232 aluminium duties

Base Metals Market - Mon, 06/04/2018 - 21:04
The Québec government said it will push the United States government to exempt its aluminium industry from the Section 232 duties that the Trump administration announced last Thursday would be levied on imports of metal from Canada.
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Canada trade minister attacks Trump duties, says Ottawa will resist tariffs

Base Metals Market - Mon, 06/04/2018 - 20:46
Canada's minister of international trade told world aluminium sector leaders on Monday June 4 that he deplored the United States' imposition of duties against imports of Canadian metal, branding it “deeply troubling and unacceptable.”
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Québec government to press US to exempt province’s smelters from Section 232 aluminium duties

Base Metals News - Mon, 06/04/2018 - 20:04

The Québec government said it will push the United States government to exempt its aluminium industry from the Section 232 duties that the Trump administration announced last Thursday would be levied on imports of metal from Canada.

Québec smelters make the vast majority of aluminium exported from Canada, and much of it destined for the US.

“Québec will look to obtain an exemption for the Québec industry,” Christine St-Pierre, the province’s minister of international relations, said during an aluminium summit on Monday June 4 in Montreal. She noted, however, that her government supported the Canadian government in challenging American action at the World Trade Organization and through North American Free Trade Agreement dispute settlement procedures. She said it also supported the Canadian federal government’s decision to impose retaliatory tariffs on US aluminium, steel and other products, albeit “regretfully.”

The tariffs will have “a harmful effect that will ripple throughout the US value chain,” St-Pierre said. She noted that secondary US users, such as members of the brewing industry, had spoken out against the move, citing an increase in costs and loss of business.

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Canada trade minister attacks Trump duties, says Ottawa will resist tariffs

Base Metals News - Mon, 06/04/2018 - 19:46

Canada’s minister of international trade told world aluminium sector leaders on Monday June 4 that he deplored the United States’ imposition of duties against imports of Canadian metal, branding it “deeply troubling and unacceptable.”

Arguing that the action would “do nothing to address the problem of global overcapacity,” François-Philippe Champagne said that US President Donald Trump’s Section 232 tariffs would harm American and Canadian producers whose integrated aluminium industries “don’t sell to each other, they make things together.”

Speaking at an aluminium summit in Montreal, Canada, Champagne stressed that the US decision was a breach of World Trade Organization and North American Free Trade Agreement rules. He said he wanted to ensure that the Canadian and US aluminium sectors work together to become an efficient North American unit that can “successfully compete with China and anyone else in the rest of the world.”

He said the Canadian government would press for compliance with a rule-based wold trade order, a message that it would take this week to the G7 summit.

“We will always have the backs of the industry and its workers,” Champagne told conference attendees.

The post Canada trade minister attacks Trump duties, says Ottawa will resist tariffs appeared first on FastMarkets.

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Trade experts appeal for global deal on state company trading to fight aluminium overcapacity

Base Metals Market - Mon, 06/04/2018 - 19:15
A global meeting of senior aluminium executives has heard calls for a multilateral solution for the problem of overcapacity. The goal would be integrating China and its state-owned enterprises into the world trading system in a way that is acceptable to major market economy regulators.
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Trade experts appeal for global deal on state company trading to fight aluminium overcapacity

Base Metals News - Mon, 06/04/2018 - 18:15

A global meeting of senior aluminium executives has heard calls for a multilateral solution for the problem of overcapacity. The goal would be integrating China and its state-owned enterprises into the world trading system in a way that is acceptable to major market economy regulators.

Debates were held on Monday June 4 at an aluminium summit in Montreal. It was staged in the Canadian city days before this week’s G7 meeting in Québec City, where US President Donald Trump is expected to be criticized by world leaders for imposing 10% Section 232 tariffs last week on US aluminium imported from the European Union (EU), Mexico and Canada.

But speakers at the meeting stressed that bilateral tariffs, such as those imposed by Washington, were not the answer to overcapacity. They highlighted how Chinese steel production remained high, despite having been largely pushed out of the American market by anti-dumping and countervailing duties – which are now a focus of US bilateral action over aluminium trades.

Chad Bown, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, stressed that Chinese metal trades were simply being pushed elsewhere, depressing world prices regardless. And with China’s domestic demand cooling as its past breakneck growth abates, the Chinese government is eyeing exports as outlets for unused capacity. Noting that the proportion of its aluminium production sold overseas is currently just 13-15% – nowhere near the levels of export sales achieved by producers in South Korea – Brown said: “If [the Chinese] ramp up exports, you can imagine what would happen on world markets.”

As a result, it was essential to find a multilateral solution to overcapacity that included China, so that it could remain integrated in global supply chains without distorting markets and depressing prices.

The key, Brown said, was to secure a plurilateral agreement that clarified how the output of state-owned enterprises – still dominant in China’s public sector-focused economy – should be assessed by global trade regulators. That way, when exporting, the direct and indirect subsidies they enjoy are acknowledged and accounted for in importers’ trade policies.

Such a plurilateral deal, would ideally be forged through the World Trade Organization (WTO), despite the threats that it faces from the Trump administration’s protectionism and blocking of dispute settlement body appointments, Brown said.

He said there are models for such a deal. Chapters on how to assess and control subsidies enjoyed by exporting state-owned enterprises have been written into recent trade deals, such as CETA (the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The EU’s state aid system, where the European Commission tightly controls subsidies paid to public and private operators was also a potential model for a plurilateral deal, he said. Another tack could be bringing cases under Article 23 of the WTO’s general agreement on tariffs and trade (GATT), which enables governments to claim that another WTO member is effectively nullifying the trade benefits they should expect from global trade deals through their policy actions.

While forging a new WTO agreement could be a tough call – given the current problems being faced by the WTO – it is better to try that than to let the global, rules-based trading system “wither on the vine,” Brown argued. If China was forced to the table, an agreement could be reached that enabled its state-owned enterprises to trade reliably, and predictably, and avoid the alternative – pushing China out of world trade altogether.

To achieve such a deal, however, more information on how state-owned enterprises (SoE) benefit compared to companies operating in purer, market-based systems is needed. This point has been accepted by global think tank the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD), which, noted Ken Ash, its trade and agriculture director, is researching this topic regarding the aluminium sector.

Ash said the OECD has been studying aluminium majors – one in the United States, one from the EU and two from China – and found that the level of government support (accounting for scale) was three times larger in Chinese aluminium companies than their European and American competitors. This support was overwhelmingly from the Chinese government (while the US and EU companies also gained help from foreign governments through investment incentives, for instance). The OECD is trying to distill how SoEs benefit from working in government-dominated economies, whether it is from lower energy prices, employment subsidies, investment support and more. Such solid information could be used to craft an international agreement on how SoEs should trade that takes account of the benefits they receive, he said, which he would prefer would cover all industrial subsidies, including to private companies.

In any case, an international agreement is needed to deal with overcapacity, Ash stressed. “We have to pursue a multilateral approach – we cannot push the problem around the works on a unilateral basis,” he told the conference.

The OECD director had some optimism that this could be achieved, noting that last Thursday, on the day Trump announced his Section 232 tariffs, there was an agreement at the OECD among the US, Japan and the EU that new rules boosting transparency over SoE operations are needed at the WTO. In Montreal, Ash appealed to companies and governments in the room to assist with information to help craft a sustainable multilateral; solution to SoE overproduction and trade controls.

The post Trade experts appeal for global deal on state company trading to fight aluminium overcapacity appeared first on FastMarkets.

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LIVE FUTURES REPORT 04/06: LME copper, lead prices gain ground; tin edges lower

Base Metals Market - Mon, 06/04/2018 - 18:02
Base metals on the London Metal Exchange ended trading mostly higher on Monday June 4, with tin the only metal to trade negatively amid strong performances in three-month copper, lead and nickel prices.
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Aluminium premium futures see uptick in volumes on CME on participants positioning after Rusal sanctions

Base Metals Market - Mon, 06/04/2018 - 17:37
Volumes traded on the CME’s European aluminium futures premiums contract recorded positive figures for May, attributed to participants looking to position following the US sanctions on Rusal.
Categories: Metals Industry News

NFM acquires UK’s Brock Metals to create major European zinc alloy group

Base Metals Market - Mon, 06/04/2018 - 17:06
Luxembourg-based zinc alloy producer NFM Group has acquired UK rival Brock Metals, it said in a statement late last week, combining two mid-sized alloy producers into a major player in the European market.
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Québec government will help Canadian aluminium sector preserve jobs following US tariffs – Dominique Anglade

Base Metals Market - Mon, 06/04/2018 - 16:36
The deputy premier of Québec has committed her government to helping the Canadian province’s aluminium sector maintain its current level of employment in the face of US tariffs that have hit the industry since last Thursday.
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INTERVIEW: Open Mineral seeks to diversify book of investors with stake sale

Base Metals Market - Mon, 06/04/2018 - 15:55
Metal-concentrates exchange Open Mineral is in talks with multiple investors to sell over a tenth of the company in a bid to diversify its book of investors, chief executive officer Boris Eykher told Metal Bulletin in a recent interview.
Categories: Metals Industry News

Québec government will help Canadian aluminium sector preserve jobs following US tariffs – Dominique Anglade

Base Metals News - Mon, 06/04/2018 - 15:36

The deputy premier of Québec has committed her government to helping the Canadian province’s aluminium sector maintain its current level of employment in the face of US tariffs that have hit the industry since last Thursday.

Speaking at an international aluminium summit in Montreal, Canada, on Monday June 4, Dominique Anglade said: “If there’s a risk of a reduction in production and not being able to export as much, we will be here to support the companies to make sure they maintain the jobs in the sector.”

She noted that Québec’s aluminium sector employs 30,000 people – 7,000 directly in smelting and 21,000 in transforming aluminium. “We will work alongside companies,” she said, noting that the province had nine smelters and 1,500 transformers. The province dominates Canadian aluminium production, with only one major smelter outside Québec which is in British Columbia.

“What happened last week is a direct attack on our economy,” Anglade, who is also Québec’s minister of economy, science and innovation, said. “It was totally unreasonable.”

She argued that the tariffs would not address the key issue of global overcapacity in aluminium production, which required a multilateral solution. In contrast, the US tariffs would “have a negative impact on our side and the American side of the border.” She said Québec is a safe supplier for the US market, including its defense sector, arguing that the United States’ justification for the tariffs – that the US needs its own larger aluminium sector to create secure supplies for its military – was wrongheaded.

The US row comes at a challenging time for the Québec sector given that its pro-business Liberal provincial government’s 2015 aluminium plan is targeting major expansion aluminium production, doubling processing by 2025. The Québec government, which will have a general election in September, has as a result launched 200 different initiatives to boost the province’s aluminium sectors, Anglade said.

The post Québec government will help Canadian aluminium sector preserve jobs following US tariffs – Dominique Anglade appeared first on FastMarkets.

Categories: Metals Industry News

LIVE FUTURES REPORT 04/06: Comex copper price up on strained dollar

Base Metals Market - Mon, 06/04/2018 - 15:33
The Comex copper price edged higher on Monday June 4 on a weaker dollar and positive fundamentals for the US economy.
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INTL NICKEL CONF: Six things we learned in Toronto

Base Metals Market - Mon, 06/04/2018 - 14:45
Here are six key takeaways from Metal Bulletin’s sixth International Nickel Conference on Toronto on May 31 and June 1.
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NORTH AMERICAN MORNING BRIEF 04/06: Open Mineral interview; Umicore to build cathode plant in Poland; Japan says US steel tariff ‘regrettable’

Base Metals Market - Mon, 06/04/2018 - 12:20
The latest metal markets news and price moves to start the North American day on Monday June 4.
Categories: Metals Industry News

INTERVIEW: Open Mineral to tap into metals byproduct trade, logistics services solutions - CEO

Base Metals Market - Mon, 06/04/2018 - 11:49
Metal concentrates trading platform Open Mineral has diversified its businesses to make a foray into trading secondary product and providing logistics solutions, chief executive officer Boris Eykher said in a recent interview with Metal Bulletin.
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LIVE FUTURES REPORT 04/06: LME copper, ali prices tick higher

Base Metals Market - Mon, 06/04/2018 - 11:09
The three-month copper and aluminium prices rose slightly on the London Metal Exchange in morning trading on Monday June 4.
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