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Volvo Unveils Mining Vehicle made from SSAB’s Fossil Free Steel

Strategic Research Institute
Published on :
14 Oct, 2021, 4:57 am

In a world-first, Volvo Group revealed the first vehicle made of fossil-free steel produced by SSAB. The machine, a load carrier for use in mining and quarrying, was unveiled at a Volvo collaboration event in Gothenburg in Sweden. SSAB President & CEO Mr Martin Lindqvist said “Having the world’s first actual vehicle made using SSAB’s fossil-free steel is a true milestone. Our collaboration with Volvo Group shows that green transition is possible and brings results. Together, we will continue reducing climate impact all the way to the end customer while ensuring that our customers get high-quality steel. We look forward to continuing to work with Volvo Group in research and development to produce more fossil-free steel products.”

Volvo Group is committed to pioneering partnerships such as this with SSAB to develop attractive, safe and efficient new vehicles and machines that pave the way for a more sustainable transport and infrastructure system adopted for the future. More vehicles and machines will follow in 2022 in a series of concept vehicles and components using fossil-free steel from SSAB.

This is the seventh announcement by SSAB for development & supply of green steel in recent times

1. April - Volvo to Produce Trucks Made from Hydrogen Steel from SSAB

2. June - Volvo Cars to Explore Using Fossil Free Steel with SSAB

3. September - SSAB to Deliver Fossil Free Steel to Mercedes-Ben

4. September - SSAB to Supply Fossil Free Steel to Faurecia for Automotive Seats

5. September - SSAB to Deliver Fossil Free Steel to Cargotec

6. October - SSAB to Deliver Fossil Free Steel to Construction Firm Peab

In 2026, SSAB plans to supply the market with fossil-free steel at a commercial scale after a conversion of its Oxelösund blast furnaces into an electric arc furnace and by using HYBRIT technology, which replaces coking coal traditionally needed for iron ore-based steelmaking, with fossil-free electricity and hydrogen. This process is a deciding move toward virtually eliminating carbon dioxide-emissions in steel production.

In August 2021, SSAB was able to show the world´s first fossil-free steel plate made from hydrogen-reduced iron produced at HYBRIT’s pilot plant in Luleå, Sweden. The HYBRIT initiative is collaboration between SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall, and an essential step toward a completely fossil-free value chain for steelmaking.
Chinese Iron Ore Import & Steel Export Dip in September 2021

Strategic Research Institute
Published on :
14 Oct, 2021, 5:00 am

China’s iron ore imports in September 2021 fell 1.9% from a month earlier as environment-related steel production controls restrained consumption of the steelmaking raw material. The latest data from General Administration of Customs shows that China imported 95.61 million tonnes of iron ore in September 2021 as compared with 97.49 million tonnes in August 2021 and 108.55 million tonnes in September 2020. China imported 841.95 million tonnes of iron ore during January-September 2021, down 3% YoY from the same period in 2020

China's steel exports slowed in September to the lowest level since December 2020 following China’s export control polices, as well as weaker Southeast Asian demand because of its Covid19 lockdowns. China exported 4.92 million tonne of finished steel in September 2021, down 2.6% MoM but up 28.5% YoY. In the January-September 2021 period, China exported 53.024 million tonnes of finished steel, increasing by 31.3% YoY

China imported 1.256 million tonnes of finished steel, down 56.4% YoY but up 18.2% Mom. In the January-September 2021 period, China imported 10.716 million tonne of finished steel, down 28.9% YoY
Mr Sajjan Jindal is New Chairman of World Steel Association

Strategic Research Institute
Published on :
14 Oct, 2021, 5:03 am

The Board of Members of the World Steel Association has elected new Executive Board of Directors for the 2021/2022 period. The individuals on the Executive Board of Directors will hold office for one year

Chairman – Mr Sajjan JINDAL, JSW Steel Limited

Vice-Chairman – Mr YU Yong, HBIS Group Co Ltd

Vice-Chairman – Mr Jeong-Woo CHOI, POSCO

Treasurer – Mr Mark VASSELLA, BlueScope Steel Limited

Chairman of the International Stainless Steel Forum – Mr Timoteo DI MAULO, Aperam

Mr Jindal addressed the Board of Members, thanking Dr Yu Yong for his capable chairmanship over the last two years, and welcoming addressing the challenges for the global industry going forward, particularly with respect to climate change. He said “The next few years look to be interesting for the global steel industry. Governments and policy makers have come to realize that in order to rebuild their economies, they need to increase their spending on infrastructure. As we contribute to the progress of society, we also need to build a better and cleaner future by working towards decarbonizing steel production. We, as an industry, have a responsibility to shape the future in a meaningful and impactful manner."

The Board of Members has also elected the 2021/2022 Executive Committee:

1. Mr Salah AL-ANSARI – HADEED, Saudi Iron & Steel Company

2. Mr David B BURRITT – United States Steel Corporation

3. Mr CHEN Derong – China Baowu Steel Group Corporation Limited

4. Mr Jeong-Woo CHOI – POSCO

5. Mr Ugur DALBELER – Çolakoglu Metalurji AS

6. Mr Eiji HASHIMOTO – Nippon Steel Corporation

7. Mr Sajjan JINDAL – JSW Steel Limited

8. Mr André Bier Gerdau JOHANNPETER – Gerdau SA

9. Mr Yoshihisa KITANO – JFE Steel Corporation

10. Mr Lakshmi N MITTAL - ArcelorMittal

11. Mr Alexey A MORDASHOV – Severstal

12. Mr Thachat Viswanath NARENDRAN – Tata Steel Limited

13. Mr Paolo ROCCA – Techint Group

14. Mr Leon J TOPALIAN – Nucor Corporation

15. Mr YU Yong – HBIS Group Co Ltd

16. Mr Hubert ZAJICEK – voestalpine AG

17. Dr Edwin BASSON, World Steel Association as Secretary

The Board of Members has also welcomed the following steel producers as regular members:

1. Siam Yamato Steel Company Corporation (Thailand), represented by Mr Damrongsak JATURONGPATANA

2. SULB Company (Bahrain), represented by Mr Ravi SINGH

The following is welcomed as an affiliated member

Indian Iron & Steel Sector Skill Council (India), represented by Mr Sushim BANERJEE
Millennium Starts Shipping Coking Coal

Strategic Research Institute
Published on :
14 Oct, 2021, 6:30 am

First coal has been struck and is set to be shipped to steelmakers across the globe by the end of the year from the re-born Millennium metallurgical coal mine at Coppabella Queensland’s Minister for Resources joined joint venture partners M Resources and Stanmore Resources at the official opening of the AUD 464 million underground mine, which the partners bought and re-started in July, creating 330 jobs.

The Millennium mine commenced operations in August, 17 months after being mothballed by previous owner Peabody Energy. First coal was struck two weeks ago and production is forecast to rise to more than 1.2 million tonnes per year from July 2022.
What is Driving Surge in Thermal Coal Prices

Strategic Research Institute
Published on :
13 Oct, 2021, 6:30 am

XCoal Energy and Resources CEO and Chief Marketing Officer Mr Ernie Thrasher in a new episode of CERAWeek Conversations said “High demand from a global economy juiced up on government stimuli and a reckoning with curtailed investment in supply has led to soaring coal prices that one would have never envisioned. Despite the fact that India has a huge domestic resource of approximately 600 million tons per year, most power plants in India today are operating at very low inventory levels. Coal demand is extremely strong in India for imported coal.”

In a conversation with IHS Markit vice chairman Mr Daniel Yergin, Mr Thrasher diagnoses the drivers behind the surge in coal prices, the outlook for the industry and the practical realities facing plans for a rapid energy transition.

We have strong demand and the supply is not responding to the demand. During COVID a lot of mining companies curtailed investments trying to save cash. And those companies are having the same experience as many other industries, challenges in bringing workers back to the work force.

The supply challenge has been compounded by market distortions resulting from geopolitical tensions such as China unofficially banning coal imports from Australia. Coal is finding a way to move, but a distorted market operates inefficiently. We have US coal going to China. We have Australian coal going to Europe. So, we effectively have ships crossing in the Indian or the Atlantic Ocean and that’s putting further strain on the availability of vessels to carry coal.
EU exhausts fourth-quarter Turkish rebar, rod quotas

EU fourth-quarter safeguard quotas for Turkish rebar and wire rod have already been fully used, Kallanish notes from the official system of the European Commission.

These particular quotas are permanently under pressure and are usually exhausted in the very first days of any given quarter. Any further imports of these products from Turkey cleared before the end of the current year would need to pay the safeguard duty of 25%.

Turkey was allocated tax-free quotas in Q4 of around 62,000 tonnes for rebar and 80,000t for wire rod.

Imports from other origins can still be concluded as quotas remain available; nevertheless, Russian quotas for both products have also been used extensively. Russia's 83,000t wire rod quota has been used by some 90% and the 60,000t rebar quota by some 50%, Kallanish notes.

Emanuele Norsa Italy (Kallanish)
Beursblik: Credit Suisse zet ArcelorMittal op kooplijst
Koersdoel van 34,00 naar 42,00 dollar.

(ABM FN-Dow Jones) Credit Suisse heeft het advies voor ArcelorMittal verhoogd van Neutraal naar Outperform en het koersdoel van 34,00 naar 42,00 dollar, nu de normalisering van de winstgevendheid van staal in de koers ruimschoots is verdisconteerd.

De analisten denken dat de huidige koers een aantrekkelijk instappunt is voor het aandeel. Daarbij kijken ze naar de sterkere balans van ArcelorMittal en de verwachte sterke vrije kasstroom in de komende jaren.

Credit Suisse verhoogde zijn verwachtingen voor de EBITDA met 9 procent voor dit jaar en met 12 procent voor volgend jaar, naar respectievelijk 19,9 en 12,8 miljard dollar. De bank gaat daarbij uit van hogere staalprijzen in de VS en Europa.

Het aandeel ArcelorMittal steeg donderdag in Amsterdam met 2,5 procent naar 27,26 euro.

Door: ABM Financial News.

Redactie: +31(0)20 26 28 999
worldsteel Cuts Crude Steel Growth Outlook for 2021

Strategic Research Institute
Published on :
15 Oct, 2021, 5:39 am

The World Steel Association has released an update of its Short Range Outlook for 2021 and 2022. worldsteel forecasts that steel demand will grow by 4.5% in 2021 and reach 1,855.4 million tonne after 0.1% growth in 2020. In 2022, steel demand will see a further increase of 2.2% to 1,896.4 million tonne. The current forecast assumes that, with the progress of vaccinations across the world, the spread of variants of the COVID virus will be less damaging and disruptive than seen in previous waves. worldsteel Economics Committee Chairman Mr Al Remeithi said “2021 has seen a stronger than expected recovery in steel demand, leading to upward revisions in our forecast across the board except for China. Due to this vigorous recovery, global steel demand outside China is expected to return earlier than expected to its pre-pandemic level this year. Strong manufacturing activity bolstered by pent-up demand is the main contributor. The developed economies have outperformed our earlier expectations by a larger margin than the developing economies, reflecting the positive benefit of higher vaccination rates and government support measures. In the emerging economies, especially in Asia, the recovery momentum was interrupted by the resurgence of infections. While the manufacturing sector’s recovery remained more resilient to the new waves of infection than expected, supply-side constraints led to a levelling off of the recovery in the second half of the year and are preventing a stronger recovery in 2021. But with high backlog orders combined with a rebuilding of inventories and further progress in vaccinations in developing countries, we expect steel demand will continue to recover in 2022. Persistent rising inflation, continued slow vaccination progress in developing countries and further growth deceleration in China all pose risks to this forecast.”

China - The Chinese economy sustained its strong recovery momentum from 2020 into the early part of 2021. However, it has slowed since June. There have been marked signs of deceleration in the steel using sector's activity since July, leading to a steel demand contraction of -13.3% in July and then -18.3% in August. The sharp deceleration is partly attributable to occasional factors such as the recent adverse weather and small waves of infections through this summer, however more substantive causes include the slowing momentum in the real estate sector and the government cap on steel production. Real estate activity has weakened due to tough government measures on developers' financing introduced in 2020. At the same time, infrastructure investment has not picked up in 2021 due to a depletion of investment opportunities and limited local government financing ability. Furthermore, the strong manufacturing recovery across the world has reduced the export market. From a high base last year and with a continued negative trend in the real estate sector, Chinese steel demand will have negative growth for the rest of 2021. As a result, while the January to August apparent steel use still stands at a positive 2.7%, overall steel demand is expected to decline by -1.0% in 2021. No growth in steel demand is expected in 2022, with the real estate sector remaining depressed in line with the government policy stance on rebalancing and environmental protection. Some restocking activities might support apparent steel use. Recent government action to push for a transition away from the real estate-dependent growth model is likely to continue.

Developed economies - More targeted and localised lockdowns helped to minimise the impact of the latest infection waves on economic activities in 2021. However, supply chain bottlenecks and the services sector still lagging behind are preventing a more robust recovery. A reduction in supply chain bottlenecks, continued pent-up demand and rising business and consumer confidence, will strengthen the recovery momentum in 2022. After falling by -12.7% in 2020, steel demand will increase by 12.2% in 2021 and 4.3% in 2022, reaching its pre-pandemic level.

1. In the US, the economy continues its robust recovery, driven by pent-up demand and a vigorous policy response. The level of real GDP exceeded its previous high in the second quarter of this year. Steel demand was aided by the strong performance of the automotive and durable goods sectors, but shortage of some components is undermining this recovery. The momentum in the construction sector is weakening with the end of a residential construction boom and sluggish non-residential sector activities. The recovery in oil prices is supporting a recovery in energy sector investment. There could be more upside potential if President Biden’s infrastructure stimulus programme is enacted, but this would not feed through until late 2022.

2. In the EU, the recovery in steel demand that started in the second half of 2020 is gathering pace, with all steel-using sectors exhibiting a positive recovery despite continuing waves of infection. Germany’s steel demand recovery is supported by exports, which underlie its strong manufacturing performance. However, supply bottlenecks, particularly in the automotive sector, are causing a loss of momentum. Steel demand in 2022 will benefit from a high order backlog in the manufacturing sector while the construction sector is expected to continue to grow after showing relatively high growth performance throughout the pandemic. Italy, one of the hardest hit by the pandemic in the EU, is recovering faster than other EU countries, with strong recovery in construction. Several steel using sectors, including construction and domestic appliances, are expected to recover to a pre-COVID level in 2021.

3. In Japan, steel demand is recovering gradually with increasing exports, investment and consumption. Manufacturing, especially automotive and machinery, is leading the recovery. Civil construction continues to underpin steel demand, while private construction remains subdued, with the exception of warehouses and distribution centres. In 2022, recoveries in consumption and investment are expected to support positive growth in all steel using sectors.

4. South Korea is expected to see its steel demand recovering to the 2019 level in 2021, supported by improving exports and investment in manufacturing facilities. The construction sector will be supported by public civil engineering programmes and residential construction recovery, switching to positive growth in 2021/22. South Korea saw a jump in new shipping orders in 2021, which will boost Korea's steel demand for the coming years.

Deel 2:

Developing economies excluding China - Steel demand in the developing economies excluding China continued to recover in 2021, aided by the recovery in commodity prices and international trade. However, new COVID waves combined with low vaccination levels and a slow recovery in international tourism restrained developing economies. In 2022, as vaccinations progress, conditions in the developing economies are expected to improve, but the pandemic will leave a lasting impact on these economies through weakened financial positions and accumulated structural challenges.

1. While on track to a healthy recovery from the strict lockdown in 2020, India’s economy got another shock from a more severe second wave in April-June, 2021, which caused output across all sectors to fall. However, the economic impact of the second wave was much less severe compared with the first wave, due to more localised lockdowns. Since July, a healthy recovery has resumed for all sectors. As a result, India's steel demand suffered only a minor downward revision and will show a strong recovery in 2021. India’s steel demand will reclaim the 100 million tonnes mark this year.

2. In the ASEAN region, Vietnam, which had successfully escaped the serious economic impact of the pandemic in 2020, is looking at a scaled-down outlook for 2021 due to surging infections. On the other hand, the Philippines has managed to implement construction projects despite the COVID restrictions. With delayed infrastructure projects and restricted labour mobility, the ASEAN region’s recovery is expected to be only moderate.

3. Steel demand in Latin America, except Brazil, was severely hit by the pandemic in 2020. But in 2021 a surprisingly strong recovery has been taking place, due to the construction and automotive sectors and inventory rebuilding. However, in 2022, the region could see markedly weakened momentum as it will struggle with compounded structural issues including high inflation, heightened fiscal deficits and political uncertainty. After recording positive growth in 2020, Brazil's steel demand continues to grow strongly in 2021, driven by government stimulus and strong construction activity, which stood above its pre-pandemic level in the first half of the year. However, the outlook for 2022 is set to weaken with fiscal weakness, higher interest rates and political tensions. Mexico also saw a substantially stronger than expected recovery driven by industrial activities, especially the automotive sector.

4. Steel demand recovery in the GCC fell short of expectations on the back of reduced construction activity due to fiscal consolidation efforts. However, in 2022, with rising oil prices and the pandemic under control, steel demand is expected to rebound more strongly. Egypt's steel demand was negatively affected by the suspension of construction licenses in overcrowded urban areas. However, the government's other mega projects have cushioned the pandemic's impact and have supported recovery in 2021.

5. After a moderate fall in 2020, Russia’s steel demand's recovery is supported by a strong rebound in the automotive sector. The construction sector is supported by the government mortgage subsidy programme.

6. The strong positive trend in the Turkish economy that started in Q3 2020 continued in 2021, driven by domestic demand with expanding consumer loans. Turkish steel demand will continue to show high double-digit growth in 2021, driven by infrastructure projects and industrial activity. Turkey’s steel demand will exceed the pre-currency crisis level of 36 million tonnes in 2022.

Top 10 Steel Using Countries - Finished Steel Products Forecast for 2021

China - 985.1 million tonnes, down by 1.0 YoY

India - 104.3 million tonnes, up by 16.7 YoY

United States - 92.3 million tonnes, up by 15.3 YoY

Japan - 58.0 million tonnes, up by 10.2 YoY

South Korea - 53.4 million tonnes, up by 9.1 YoY

Russia - 43.4 million tonnes, up by 2.4 YoY

Germany - 34.3 million tonnes, up by 10.0 YoY

Turkey - 34.5 million tonnes, up by 17.0 YoY

Vietnam - 23.9 million tonnes, up by 2.4 YoY

Mexico - 24.5 million tonnes, up by 12.9 YoY

Construction - In general, the construction sector has remained more resilient than the manufacturing sector to the pandemic shock. However, in many developing economies, construction activity was severely disrupted by a total stoppage of projects. In 2021, the global construction sector is expected to show a robust recovery fuelled by low interest rates and governments focusing on infrastructure projects as part of their recovery plans. The recovery of the construction sector is uneven across regions. In developing economies, ASEAN for example, where vaccination rates have been low, construction recovery has shown fragility. In contrast, in India, where there was recently a strong uptake in vaccinations, a positive rebound in construction activity is taking place. In China, the construction sector is facing a turning point and the real estate sector is likely to enter a correction period as the government tries to tackle the sector's structural problems. The outlook for global infrastructure projects is affected by two conflicting forces. On the one hand, many governments are trying to use infrastructure as a recovery tool aligned with green initiatives, especially in the developed economies. On the other hand, governments’ fiscal position has worsened due to the pandemic. Many governments in developing economies will have reduced ability for financing infrastructure investment. The residential sector has benefited from accumulated savings during the lockdown and the spread of working from home, which has resulted in rising demand for home space. The other side of the coin is that the non-residential sector will see a sluggish recovery due to reduced demand for office space.
Deel 3:

Automotive - The automotive sector, which saw the sharpest decline among the steel using sectors during the lockdown in 2020, saw a strong recovery in the second half of 2020. Although supply chain disruption is still evident in some markets, the recovery is driven by pent-up demand and increased household savings. In the US, light vehicle production regained its pre-pandemic level by the third quarter of last year, but it has been trending down since then, partly because of supply chain disruptions. In the EU, a strong recovery is underway, and the EU automotive sector is expected to rebound by 15.3% in 2021. However, it is still far below its level when the manufacturing recession first started in 2018. The EU’s automotive sector faces uncertainty with component shortages and a weak prospect of demand due to general economic uncertainty. In China, automobile production soared in the first half of this year. In particular, new energy vehicle production increased by almost 200% from January to August 2021, accounting for 11.2% of total vehicles produced in the same period. The disruption in the supply chain is significantly undermining the global automotive industry’s recovery. With pent-up demand dissipating, the growth in auto production in 2022 will decelerate, though high order backlogs will provide some support.
30 Top Steel Companies in World by Market Capitalization

Strategic Research Institute
Published on :
15 Oct, 2021, 5:42 am

British financial data firm Refinitiv Eikon, formerly Thomson Reuters Data, announced the top 30 largest steel companies by market capitalization in the world on October 6, 2021. Top 3 steel makers are BaoSteel, Nucor & ARcellorMittal. Indian steel makers JSW Steel & Tata Steel occupy 5 & 6 poistion in the list with market capitalization of USD 21.9 billion & USD 21.2 billion respectively, while Steel Authority of India Limited is at 28 place with USD 6.6 billion market capitalization


1. Baoshan Iron & Steel USD 30.0 billion, Ticker 600019. SS

2. Nucor Corp USD 28.9 billion, Ticker NUE.N

3. ArcelorMittal USD 28.7 billion, Ticker MT.AS

4. Posco USD 23.3 billion, Ticker 005490. KS

5. Inner Mongolia BaoTou Steel USD 22.4 billion, Ticker 600010. SS

6. JSW Steel USD 21.9 billion, Ticker JSTL.NS

7. Tata Steel USD 21.2 billion, Ticker TISC.NS

8. China Steel Corp USD 19.8 billion, Ticker 2002.TW

9. Novolipetsk Steel USD 17.2 billion, Ticker NLMK.MM

10. Severstal USD 17.1 billion, Ticker CHMF.MM

11. Nippon Steel USD 16.4 billion, Ticker 5401.T

12. CITIC Pacific Special Steel Group USD 15.9 billion, Ticker 000708. SZ

13. Steel Dynamics Inc USD 12.1 billion, Ticker STLD.OQ

14. EVRAZ USD 11.5 billion, Ticker EVRE.L

I5. Hoa Phat Group JSC USD 11.0 billion, Ticker HPG.HM

16. Cleveland-Cliffs Inc USD 10.4 billion, Ticker CLF.N

17. Magnltogorskiy Metallurgicheskiy USD 10.3 billion, Ticker MAGN.MM

18. Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co USD 9.1 billion, Ticker RS.N

19. JFE Holdings USD 8.9 billion, Ticker 5411.T

20. Shanxi Taigang Stainless Steel USD 8.5 billion, Ticker 000825.SZ

21. Ternium SA USD 8.4 billion, Ticker TX.N

22. Gerdau SA USD 7.9 billion, Ticker GGBR4.SA

23. BlueScope Steel USD 7.4 billion, Ticker BSL.AX

24. Companhia Siderurgica Naclonal USD 7.1 billion, Ticker CSNA3.SA

25. Hunan Valin Steel USD 7.1 billion, Ticker 000932.SZ

26. Angang Steel Co USD 6.8 billion, Ticker 000898. SZ

27. Fushun Special Steel USD 6.6 billion, Ticker 600399. SS

28. Steel Authority of India USD 6.6 billion, Ticker SAIL.NS

29. Inner Mongolia ERDOS Resources USD 6.5 billion, Ticker 600295.SS

30. Voestalpine AG USD 6.5 billion, Ticker VOES.VI

Source – Hoa Phat
US Chamber of Commerce Seeks Urgent Steps in US EU Trade War

Strategic Research Institute
Published on :
15 Oct, 2021, 5:45 am

US and EU officials are engaged in increasingly intense discussions on the issue, with a nearly weekly tempo emerging. As French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told CNBC “We are all totally determined to find a compromise; there is a possibility, even on aluminum and steel, to avoid sanctions and to avoid a kind of new trade war between the two continents. The key points are the overcapacities, and the overcapacities in the production of steel and aluminum are coming from China. This is not an issue between the US and the EU.”

US Chamber of Commerce said “With US steel prices soaring, shortages multiplying, and the EU poised to double its retaliatory duties on US exports, it’s past time for the United States to rescind the so-called Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum. Doing so will avert further harm to American workers and allow the US and its allies to refocus on the true challenges facing global metal markets.

(1) Foreign retaliation against US companies and the workers they employ is set to spike absent swift action by the administration. Notably, the EU on December 1 will double its retaliatory duties on exports of made-in-America products, on which EU tariffs are set to soar. Workers producing about 200 different categories of goods are likely to be affected. The tariffs in place have already exacted a heavy toll from US businesses and the workers they employ. The Biden administration’s emphasis on a “worker-centered trade policy” certainly needs to take into account the plight of American workers whose livelihoods will be endangered by continued adherence to the Trump-era tariffs.

(2) The tariffs are contributing to nosebleed-high prices for steel and inflicting substantial harm on US metal-consuming industries. Prices for steel have soared in the past year as the economy has recovered and the 25% tariffs add to the burden. The Wall Street Journal in September reported that a “Midwest steel index calculated by CRU Group estimated prices at $1,940 a ton at the start of September, up from around $560 in September for both 2019 and 2020”an increase of nearly 350%. For many steel products, US prices are multiples of their levels in Europe and Asia. It isn’t just prices: Shortages are also hammering steel-consuming industries. Lead times for steel delivery had pushed out to as long as 16 weeks, the Coalition of American Metal Manufacturers and Users said, compared with four to six weeks in late 2020,” Bloomberg reported in September; imports through July were at their “second-lowest volume for the period in a decade.”

(3) The stated objective of the Section 232 tariffs, blocking subsidized Chinese steel from the US market, has been achieved using other tools. Overcapacity in China resulting from subsidies and other Chinese government support to its steel producers is widely recognized as the principal challenge for global steel markets. However, other US actions, not the Section 232 tariffs, have barred nearly all steel imports from China. Import penetration for steel products was just 22% in June 2021, meaning that domestic steel production accounted for 78% of the U.S. market. Chinese steel imports account for about 1% of US steel consumption. How was this achieved? US anti-dumping and countervailing dutiesare applied to dumped or subsidized imports, and nearly half of the roughly 600 orders in place apply to iron and steel imports. Steel imports from China have been targeted far more often than those from any other country. These duties soar into the double and triple digits. The aggressive application of these tariffs, together with the separate Section 301 tariffs of 25% also applied to steel imports from China, have almost entirely blocked Chinese steel from the US market. By contrast, the Section 232 tariffs have had their most notable effect on metals imports from US allies such as Britain, Germany, Japan, and Korea.

(4) The elements of a deal to end the Section 232 tariffs are widely understood. The case for terminating the Section 232 tariffs is strong, but there are measures the Biden administration can adopt with key allies to facilitate such a move. There are indications the following are indeed under discussion with the EU, and the Chamber has encouraged the administration to do the same with other key allies such as Japan, Korea, and the UK.

First, the administration is working with the EU to refocus on the widely acknowledged challenge posed by Chinese overcapacity by reviving the Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity. It was created by the G20 and Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development in 2016 to tackle this problem. While it offers no panacea, the Trump administration did not prioritize it; the Biden team should certainly seek to leverage this multilateral approach. Second, the US and the EU appear to be discussing measures to guard against transshipment of Chinese steel through third countries. In September 2020, the Department of Commerce took steps to modernize the Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis system, which allows officials to more readily identify transshipment and circumvention involving steel imports. A similar system for aluminum was set up shortly thereafter. Other countries have similar systems; coordinating these efforts with US allies makes sense. Third, the US and the EU appear to be discussing mechanisms to monitor against import surges. When the United States agreed in 2019 to drop the Section 232 tariffs on Canadian metals and Canada dropped its retaliatory measures the two governments committed to monitor for surges and for transshipment. (The same arrangement was agreed with Mexico.) US allies would certainly agree to similar joint efforts.

The price of inaction is high, and the path forward is clear. It’s time for the administration to strike a deal with America’s allies and rescind the Section 232 tariffs.
Legato Merger Corp & Algoma Steel to Merge Next Week

Strategic Research Institute
Published on :
15 Oct, 2021, 5:47 am

US publicly traded special purpose acquisition company Legato Merger Corp and Canadian steel maker Algoma Steel Group Inc announced that Legato's stockholders have approved the previously announced business combination transaction between Legato and Algoma. The holders of approximately 74% of the shares of Legato common stock voted at the special stockholder meeting and approximately 92% of the shares voted were voted in favour the merger. The holders of 716 shares of Legato common stock validly exercised their redemption rights in connection with the Merger. Legato will file with the Securities and Exchange Commission a Form 8-K disclosing the final voting results.

The closing of the merger is expected to occur as soon as reasonably practicable after the satisfaction or waiver by Algoma and Legato of all of the remaining closing conditions set out in the definitive agreements related to the Merger. Currently the parties anticipate closing the Merger during the week of October 18.

Following the closing of the Merger, the common shares of Algoma are expected to trade on each of the Nasdaq Stock Market and the Toronto Stock Exchange under the new symbol “ASTL”, and the warrants of Algoma will trade on the Nasdaq under the new symbol “ASTLW” and on the TSX under the new symbol “ASTL.WT.” In addition, each Legato unit (Nasdaq: LEGOU) will be separated into one Algoma common share and one warrant to purchase one Algoma common share following the closing of the Merger and the units will no longer trade or be listed as units.

Algoma Steel Inc is an integrated primary steel producer located on the St Marys River in Sault Ste Marie in Ontario in Canada. Algoma Steel was founded in 1902 by Francis Clergue, an American entrepreneur who had settled in Sault Ste. Marie. The company emerged from bankruptcy protection in 2004. In April 2007, Algoma Steel was purchased by India's Essar Group for USD 1.63 billion, continuing operations as a subsidiary known as Essar Steel Algoma Inc. It was purchased again in 2017, by a group of US investors. In May 2021, it was announced that Algoma "was to become a public company again" as it had agreed a merger with New York-based acquisition firm Legato Merger Corp. Algoma currently has a capacity of 4 million tons per year. Primary steel making facilities include two blast furnaces, three coke batteries, two, 260 short ton basic oxygen furnaces, with two ladle metallurgy stations for refining and alloying. Algoma has a direct strip production complex manufactured by Danieli of Italy, which casts strip directly and then rolls it to finished strip in the range of 0.047 inches to 0.625 inches in thickness, and widths to 64 inches. Algoma also operates a hot strip mill, a plate mill, and a cold strip mill. Algoma also manufactures welded structural beams.
Metalloinvest Organises Hydrogen-Driven Future for Russia Event

Strategic Research Institute
Published on :
15 Oct, 2021, 5:52 am

Metalloinvest, official partner of the Russian Energy Week International Forum, served as co-organiser of a panel session dedicated to ‘A Hydrogen-Driven Future for Russia and the World’, one of the key themes shaping the development of the global economy over the next decade. The significance of the theme is underpinned by predictions for global hydrogen demand, which could amount to 40-170 million tonnes per year by 2050. The session’s participants noted that Russia will have to overcome a whole range of fundamental challenges in order to meet its domestic demand and to export hydrogen. They are associated both with the uncertainty regarding the main parameters of the hydrogen market, and the technological solutions for its production.

In particular, in the case of blue hydrogen, it will be necessary to find optimal solutions for capturing and storing CO2 generated in the process. For the production of green hydrogen, large-scale implementation of technologies ensuring a sufficient amount of energy from renewable sources will be required. This will involve significant investments, which are currently not always cost effective. The participants highlighted that in solving these and other pressing issues, it is important to maintain a reasonable balance between procuring foreign technology and investing in domestic counterparts.

Metalloinvest Strategy and M&A Director Mr Yuriy Gavrilov said “Metalloinvest is considering the full range of existing and promising technologies that will allow the Company to reduce the carbon footprint of its products and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Given the complexity of the task, there is unlikely to be a one-size-fits-all solution for all of our enterprises. More likely, we will use a combination of various options for production, storage, logistics, infrastructure, depending on the geographical location of enterprises and available resources. Taking into account our needs, a full transition to green hydrogen seems unlikely in the near future. Rather, it is worth looking at yellow hydrogen, which is also produced through electrolysis and eliminates CO2 emissions, using energy from nuclear power plants.

He added “We are already conducting preliminary research in all necessary areas. We plan to work towards our goal step-by-step, gradually increasing the likelihood that it will become cost-effective and technically feasible at an industrial level. It is also important to engage with the state around regulatory mechanisms and incentive methods that will allow the implementation of such large-scale capital and energy intensive projects. We believe that in the next decade, it will be possible to carry out large-scale hydrogen production and determine an acceptable economic model.”
Odisha to Sign Mining Lease for 9 Iron Ore Blocks by October End

Strategic Research Institute
Published on :
15 Oct, 2021, 5:55 am

Odisha State Government’s Steel & Mines Department has set a target of 31 October to sign the lease deeds of the nine mines auctioned recently as the successful bidders have already deposited an upfront payment of around INR 250 crore, a pre-requisite for signing the lease deeds.


1. Kasia 194.196 Ha Area - JSPL 118% premium

2. Nadidih BICO 74.5 Ha Area - Electrosteel Steels 96% premium

3. Nadidih Feegrade 117.206 Ha Area - Electrosteel Steels - 92% premium

4. Gandhalpada 241.1 Ha Area - Tata Steel 141% premium

5. Jumka Pathiriposhi 158.509 Ha Area - Rungta Mines 110% premium

6. Purheibahal 64.337 Ha Area - Rungta Mines 124% premium

7. Chandiposhi 131.580 Ha Area - Rungta Mines 113% premium

8. Dholtapahar 60.508 Ha Area - Kashvi International 127% premium

9. Netrabandha Pahar (West) 74.370 Ha Area - Raga Tradecon 139% premium

The bidding for 11 mineral blocks, for which notice inviting bids was issued on July 7, had started from 18 September. Total 123 bids have been received for these mineral deposits. The Odisha government put the auction of Karlapat iron ore and bauxite block on hold till further notice following a court order. It also cancelled the auction of Teherai block due to limited participation.
Researchers find that Corrosion can Improve Materials Durability

Strategic Research Institute
Published on :
15 Oct, 2021, 5:58 am

An environment has many different mechanisms by which it adversely impacts a material, among them dissolution, oxide formation, material redeposition and hydrogen embrittlement. Cornell University researchers used advanced atomic modeling to explore the ways environment can influence the growth of cracks in alloys such as aluminum and steel, knowledge that could help engineers better predict, and possibly postpone, the failure of structures. And by removing atoms from the tip of a crack, the modeling showed the researchers could prevent a crack from propagating, essentially improving the material’s mechanical performance. The team’s paper, “Dissolution at a Ductile Crack Tip,” was published on October 1 in Physical Review Letters. The lead author is Wenjia Gu

Cornell Fracture Group researchers chose to focus on dissolution, which can be found everywhere from corroded metal surfaces to eroded human bone. The team created a series of atomic 2D models of a structural alloy, similar to aluminum and steel, that was ductile ie, pliable enough that it that wouldn’t shatter when deformed, as glass does. By running numerous simulations that stressed the material with a range of loading cycles, the researchers were able to see the different ways the atoms interacted. The researchers then began removing loosely bonded atoms from the surface, one at a time, and monitored the crack’s behavior. They found that removing surface material inhibited the crack from growing.

Associate Professor Dr Derek Warner said “The proclivity of a crack to grow depends on how sharp it is. If you have a big round notch, it’s unlikely to propagate like a crack. But if you have some sharp feature, like a slit cut with a knife, it is more likely to grow. So in this way, material removal, akin to what occurs during corrosion, can actually improve mechanical performance. There is a corollary to this type of destruction-as-improvement in human biology. Osteoclasts, a type of bone cell, dissolve bone tissue as a way to promote bone growth and resist fracturing. This approach could have plenty of practical applications, just by letting nature take its course.”

He added “There are some situations where you would have an engineered structure, a structural alloy, and you could say well, it might actually be beneficial to let it corrode a little bit because it can blunt the cracks that are there already.”

The research is of particular interest for the Office of Naval Research, which funded the study, and its efforts to keep expensive aircraft in safe working condition amid the extreme ocean environment.
Lightsource bp Bighorn Solar Project Powering EVRAZ Pubelo Mill

Strategic Research Institute
Published on :
15 Oct, 2021, 6:00 am

Lightsource bp has launched Bighorn Solar project in Colorado, powering EVRAZ’s Pueblo steel mill to run almost entirely on solar power, bringing USD 285 million private investments in new energy infrastructure to Colorado. It abates more than 433,770 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year.

The project is primarily located on 1,800 acres of land on EVRAZ Rocky Mountain Steel property in Pueblo. It is the largest on-site solar facility in the US dedicated to a single customer, with more than 750,000 solar panels providing nearly all the plant’s annual electricity demand. This will enable the mill to produce some of the world’s greenest steel and steel products. Already, the plant recycles scrap metal to produce new steel products, including some of the most sustainably made rail in the world.

Lightsource bp financed owns and operates Bighorn Solar and sells the electricity it generates to Xcel Energy under a 20-year power purchase agreement. As part of that arrangement, EVRAZ will receive clean, renewable power and price certainty from Xcel Energy through 2041.
ArcelorMittal Brazil Planning Investments to Meet Steel Demand

Strategic Research Institute
Published on :
15 Oct, 2021, 6:04 am

ArcelorMittal Brazil is considering investments in the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil to cater to likely increase in steel demand. ArcelorMittal Brazil President Mr Jefferson De Paula told newspaper O Tempo that company intends to announce new investments in mining and long steel in Minas Gerais. He said “We are finishing a study, which is already very advanced, in the final stage, to make large investments in Brazil. I would say that these are large and robust projects to start at the beginning of next year, most of them would come to Minas Gerais. Investments are big and robust, and are expected for early 2022.”

Driven by the increase in demand, the expansion cycle will be carried out over the next three years across the country. The company’s investments should cover mining and long steel projects in Minas Gerais state.
Chioson Development Cuts Carbon Footprint Using Geothermal Power

Strategic Research Institute
Published on :
15 Oct, 2021, 6:07 am

Cebu based Philippines steel manufacturing company Chioson Development Corporation has begun to lower its operations' carbon emissions as a result of shifting to renewable energy through First Gen owned Energy Development Corporation in March this year. Chioson Development Corporation Chief Operating Officer Mr Bernard B Chioson said “We are delighted to move into the renewable energy space with First Gen and EDC. We want to have a sustainable and reliable renewable energy supplier to push our advocacy for producing rebar, nails, and pipes in a clean and sustainable way. So by moving words into action, Chioson Development Corporation has chosen to source its power supply from geothermal energy to further reduce its own carbon footprint on the environment. With this investment towards clean energy we can leave a lasting impact for future generations.”

Three of its facilities now enjoy a stable supply of clean power from EDC's geothermal facilities. Considered as the Holy Grail among renewable energy technologies, geothermal energy provides uninterrupted baseload power rain or shine, all year round or what EDC refers to as Geo 24/7. Being powered by Geo 24/7 enables Chioson Development Corporation to avoid 1.86 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in lieu of coal each year. This then enables construction companies to take a stand for the environment and indirectly lower their carbon footprint by getting materials from green companies like Chioson Development Corporation.

EDC, First Gen Corporation's 100% RE subsidiary, has over 1,480MW total installed capacity that accounts for 20% percent of the country's total installed RE capacity. Its 1,181MW geothermal portfolio accounts for 62 percent of the country's total installed geothermal capacity and has put the Philippines on the map as the 3rd largest geothermal producer in the world.
POSCO Highlights Challenges to Hydrogen Economy

Strategic Research Institute
Published on :
15 Oct, 2021, 6:11 am

South Korean steel giant POSCO’s strategy to achieve carbon neutrality is by fostering the hydrogen industry. From the standpoint of the steel industry, which consumes a lot of energy, the strategy of aiming for carbon neutrality by using green hydrogen is considered challenging but meaningful. POSCO declared its vision of in December last year, which aims to establish a 5 million-ton hydrogen production system by 2050 to pioneer the hydrogen business, future clean energy with the meaning of leading the era of decarbonization.

POSCO has begun to proceed with measures to implement this vision. Last year, POSCO decided to cooperate with Australian iron ore company FMG in the green hydrogen business using renewable energy, and starting this year, POSCO decided to sign a business agreement with a leading domestic research institute for the promotion of research cooperation in the hydrogen field to secure hydrogen business capabilities in earnest. POSCO then signed an MOU with Orsted, Denmark, the world’s No 1 offshore wind power company, to supply steel materials needed for the construction of an offshore wind farm and to participate in the production of green hydrogen using wind power, while preparing for the establishment of Korea H2 Business Summit with Hyundai Motor Company, SK, and Hyosung Group in which domestic companies participate.

POSCO currently has an annual production capacity of 7,000 tonnes of hydrogen using byproduct gas and natural gas generated from the coke manufacturing process and extracts about 3,500 tonnes of byproduct hydrogen to control temperature and prevent oxidation during steel production. In the long run, it is developing a technology to commercialize the ‘hydrogen reduction steel’ method, a steel production method that does not emit carbon. This technology is a dream technology that no other steel company in the world has commercialized, and POSCO has already commercialized FINEX technology, the closest independent steel-making technology to hydrogen reduction steel, and has been operating it stably for nearly 15 years. The FINEX method uses 25% of the reducing agent as hydrogen. Based on this advanced technology, POSCO plans to develop hydrogen reduction steel by gradually increasing the hydrogen concentration of the second fluidized reduction furnace in operation.

Meanwhile, the hydrogen industry becomes a new demand for special steel materials. Development and supply of steel materials suitable for each application are important for the development of the hydrogen industry, such as special high-pressure steel pipes for hydrogen transport, cryogenic steel for liquefied hydrogen storage, water electrolysis separator and fuel cell separator with excellent corrosion resistance and conductivity, and special steel with excellent corrosion resistance for the offshore wind power generator. POSCO has developed the world’s first steel product for hydrogen fuel cell separators and has the capabilities necessary for hydrogen production and use, such as supplying it to hydrogen vehicles produced in Korea.
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