Steel Products

CRU: Aluminum news roundup

Written by Marziyeh Horeh

The LME aluminum 3-month price is moving higher on the morning of Dec. 15 and was last seen trading at $2,258 /metric ton. This means the price is up 7% already since the new low for 2023 was reached on Wednesday at $2,109 /metric ton.

The US Dollar reached its lowest level since early August after the US central bank signalled earlier this week that it could start cutting rates next year if inflation continues to fall. The comments followed the Fed’s decision last Wednesday to keep rates unchanged again at 5.25–5.5%, a 22-year high.

Meanwhile, SHFE cash continued to post decent gains on Dec. 15. The cash contract settled at RMB18,820 /metric ton and last traded at RMB18,810 /metric ton. Gains on SHFE have obviously mirrored those on the LME but resistance is still expected to potentially hit at RMB19,000 / metric ton.

Constellium and Morf3D announce new partnership in aluminum 3D printing

Constellium has expanded its Additive Manufacturing Development Program through a partnership with Nikon’s subsidiary Morf3D, specializing in metal additive manufacturing for the aviation, space, and defense sectors.

Addressing the increasing market demand for large-format additive manufacturing, this collaboration centers on the qualification and development of Constellium’s Ahead CP1 powder solutions using the SLM500 system. Specifically, the Ahead CP1 powder variant is designed to enhance production throughput and minimize upfront material costs. It also boasts multiple advantages, including high strength and ductility, exceptional thermal and electrical conductivity, efficient processing in high-productivity LPBF, and simplified post-processing procedures.

“Our partnership with Constellium holds immense importance in advancing the development and qualification of advanced aluminum alloy for additive manufacturing, now particularly in the context of the SLM®500 platform. Together, we are pioneering the development and qualification of CP1 Aluminum alloy to unlock new potential for lightweight, high-performance components such as heat exchangers produced by AM innovations,” said Dr. Behrang Poorganji, CTO of Morf3D.

Hydro continues to improve scores on key ESG ratings

Recently, Hydro was again included in the DJSI Europe index with a total score of 69 – an improvement from 67 in 2022. Hydro has been included in the DJSI index series (powered by Standard & Poor Global CSA) every year since it began in 1999, making this the 25 consecutive year. The DJSI group of indices is an important tool for companies, investors and other stakeholders to assess sustainability performance.

In addition, Hydro scores consistently among the best in its industry in important ESG ratings. In 2023, the company also improved its score on other relevant ratings, such as Morningstar’s Sustainalytics and Moody’s ESG Solutions.

“Sustainability is fully integrated in Hydro’s strategy. We have been demonstrating our commitment to ESG excellence through transparent reporting and consistently strong performance since 1989, when Hydro was amongst the first companies in the world to publish a sustainability report. With our Hydro 2030 strategy, we remain committed to continuing to apply ethical business practices and compliance throughout our organization and supply chain,” said Trond Olaf Christophersen, Executive Vice President for Corporate Development.

Novelis achieves ASI certification at three North American factories

Novelis announced yesterday that it has achieved Performance Standard Certifications by the Aluminum Stewardship Initiative (ASI) at three of its North American manufacturing facilities in Kentucky and New York, USA; and Ontario, Canada. With capabilities from remelting and recycling to cold mill processing and finishing, these facilities produce a range of rolled aluminum products primarily for the automotive market. 

“As a part of our purpose of shaping a sustainable world together, we aim to collaborate with our suppliers, customers and partners throughout the entire value chain to participate in these responsible practices,” said Ganesh Panneer, Vice President, Operations, Novelis North America. “This latest certification further demonstrates our steadfast commitment to providing sustainable aluminum solutions to our valued customers.”  

Novelis aims to be carbon neutral by 2050 or sooner; and to reduce its carbon footprint by 30% by 2026. In addition, the company has targets to reduce waste to landfill by 20%, energy intensity by 10%, and water intensity by 10% by 2026. Increasing the amount of recycled aluminum in its products is at the core of Novelis’ carbon reduction strategy.  

Electric vehicle surge: record inventories and shifting dynamics in the US auto market

In December, the US witnessed a significant increase in electric vehicle (EV) inventories on dealership lots, reaching a record 114-day supply—more than double the previous year’s level. According to Bloomberg, this surge, up from 53 days a year ago, contrasts with the overall auto industry’s 71-day inventory, according to Cox Automotive. Consumer hesitancy towards EVs, driven by high prices and charging infrastructure concerns, is evident. Automakers like Ford and General Motors are adjusting production plans, with Ford cutting 2024 production for its F-150 Lightning and GM delaying certain new EV models. US auto dealers have appealed to President Biden to reconsider EV mandates due to an oversupply of EVs on lots. Specific EV models, including Ford’s Mustang Mach-E and Nissan Leaf, showed high inventory levels in November. Notably, the figures exclude Tesla and Rivian, which sell directly to consumers.

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