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This Morning in Metals: Ford, Mahindra end joint venture talks

This morning in metals news: Ford Motor Co. and Mahindra announced the mutual decision to end joint venture talks; the Energy Information Administration released its quarterly coal report; and,…

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joint venture puzzle pieces

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This morning in metals news: Ford Motor Co. and Mahindra announced the mutual decision to end joint venture talks; the Energy Information Administration released its quarterly coal report; and, finally, the zinc price has retraced.

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Ford, Mahindra end joint venture talks

A previously announced joint venture between Ford Motor Co. and Mahindra will not be going through, the companies announced recently.

The two companies had reached a deal back in October 2019, with a long-term expiration date of Dec. 31, 2020.

“According to the companies, the outcome was driven by fundamental changes in global economic and business conditions – caused, in part, by the global pandemic – over the past 15 months,” Ford said in a prepared statement. “Those changes influenced separate decisions by Ford and Mahindra to reassess their respective capital allocation priorities.”

Meanwhile, Ford said its independent operations in India will continue “as is.”

EIA releases quarterly coal report

In addition to the Ford-Mahindra joint venture news, the EIA released its quarterly coal report, reporting Q3 2020 production of 135.8 million short tons.

The output total in Q3 marked an increase of 17.9% from the previous quarter. However, Q3 2020 output declined 25.2% year over year.

Meanwhile, U.S. coal exports jumped 3.2% from Q2 to Q3, with the average export price reaching $89.18 per short ton.

On the other hand, 74.8% of U.S. coal imports came from Colombia.

Zinc price drops

Lastly, metals prices did slow down somewhat over the holiday season.

Among them, the LME three-month zinc price is down 1.52% over the past month. The zinc price closed 2020 at $2,745 per metric ton.

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Automotive

Week in Review: US steel capacity utilization; European steel; copper market shift

Before we head into the weekend, let’s take a look back at the week that was and the metals storylines here on MetalMiner: The MetalMiner Best Practice Library offers a wealth of knowledge and…

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China story steel production

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Before we head into the weekend, let’s take a look back at the week that was and the metals storylines here on MetalMiner:

The MetalMiner Best Practice Library offers a wealth of knowledge and tips to help buyers stay on top of metals markets and buying strategies.

Week in Review, April 5-9 (steel capacity utilization, European steel’s challenges and more)

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Automotive

This Morning in Metals: Aluminum Association calls for changes to Section 232 exclusion process

This morning in metals news: the Aluminum Association this week called for reforms to the Section 232 exclusion process; meanwhile, Volvo Cars reported a record first quarter in sales; and, lastly,…

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This morning in metals news: the Aluminum Association this week called for reforms to the Section 232 exclusion process; meanwhile, Volvo Cars reported a record first quarter in sales; and, lastly, Chilean miner Codelco requested arbitration with Ecuador regarding the Llurimagua project.

The MetalMiner Best Practice Library offers a wealth of knowledge and tips to help buyers stay on top of metals markets and buying strategies.

Aluminum Association calls for Section 232 exclusion reform

Aluminum production

Alexander Chudaev/Adobe Stock

Just over three years ago, former President Donald Trump used Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 to institute tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.

However, in addition to quotas and waivers for certain countries, domestic consumers could file for tariff exclusions with the Department of Commerce.

Meanwhile, this week, the Aluminum Association called for reforms to the Section 232 exclusion process.

“Three years after the implementation of the Section 232 tariffs on most aluminum imports into the U.S., it is time to take a fresh look at trade policy to support a robust domestic aluminum industry,” said Tom Dobbins, president and CEO of the Aluminum Association. “The Biden administration and the new Congress have an opportunity to harness the growth potential for aluminum as a sustainable solution for the 21st century, and capitalize on the more than $3 billion of private U.S. aluminum investment over the past decade. The federal government can take action immediately to put American aluminum on an equal footing with overseas competitors.”

Volvo touts record first quarter

Volvo Cars reported its best-ever first quarter for global sales.

Volvo’s sales surged by 40.8% year over year.

“In Europe and the US, the company managed to improve sales compared to the first quarter last year, while managing to cope with the ongoing effects of the pandemic,” the automaker said. “China has by now recovered from the impact of the pandemic, which was peaked in Q1 2020.”

Furthermore, Volvo’s March sales jumped by 62.3% year over year.

Chile’s Codelco seeks arbitration with Ecuador over Llurimagua project

Lastly, Chilean copper giant Codelco said it is seeking arbitration at the International Chamber of Commerce with Ecuador.

Codelco said it is seeking compliance regarding agreements signed with the National Mining Company of Ecuador regarding the Llurimagua project. The project sits 80 kilometers from Ecuador’s capital, Quito.

In a release, Codelco said the parties agreed to definitive terms for the partnership in 2019. In addition, Codelco said it hoped the process will make it possible to reach an agreement for the “mutual benefit” of the parties.

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Automotive

This Morning in Metals: Ford China reports 73.3% sales jump

This morning in metals news: Ford China announced its sales rose by 73.3% year over year; meanwhile, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its Short-Term Energy Outlook; and, lastly,…

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Tobias Arhelger/Adobe Stock

This morning in metals news: Ford China announced its sales rose by 73.3% year over year; meanwhile, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its Short-Term Energy Outlook; and, lastly, Rio Tinto announced it had achieved battery-grade lithium at its Boron plant.

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Ford China tallies fourth consecutive quarterly sales jump

Ford China reported its Q1 sales jumped 73.3% year over year.

The jump marked its fourth consecutive year-over-year quarterly sales increase.

Meanwhile, Ford China sales increased 30.3% year over year in Q4 2020.

EIA releases Short-Term Energy Outlook

The EIA forecast US retail gasoline prices this summer will average $2.78 per gallon.

Meanwhile, last summer’s average checked in at $2.07 per gallon.

“EIA expects U.S. gasoline consumption to rise in response to growing levels of GDP and employment,” the EIA said. “In addition, as COVID-19 vaccines are more widely distributed, we expect that driving will increase, causing gasoline consumption to rise.”

Furthermore, the EIA forecast US gasoline consumption will average 8.6 million barrels per day in 2021, up from 8.0 million barrels per day in 2020.

In addition, in its latest outlook, the EIA used projections of 5.6% GDP growth this year and 4.2% growth in 2022.

Rio Tinto achieves battery-grade lithium

Lastly, Rio Tinto announced it had achieved battery-grade lithium at its Boron plant in California.

“The demonstration plant is the next step in scaling up a breakthrough lithium production process developed at Boron, to recover the critical mineral and extract additional value out of waste piles from over 90 years of mining at the operation.

“An initial small-scale trial in 2019 successfully proved the process of roasting and leaching waste rock to recover high grades of lithium.”

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