Contributor: Matthew Abrams

CRU aluminum news roundup: Baltimore port incident pushes regional premiums higher

Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) inflation data was released on Friday, March 29, despite the stock market being closed for Good Friday. The year-over-year (y/y) PCE price index rose 2.5% in February, in line with market expectations but up from the 2.4% growth seen in January. The core PCE index, which excludes food and energy prices, rose 2.8% y/y in February, also in line with expectations and slightly down from 2.9% in January.

CRU: Aluminum news roundup

The LME three-month price continued to strengthen through Friday, March 8, defending its position close to its five-week high and rising further to $2,262 per metric ton (mt), up 0.3%, on the day. Gains were also noted over the last week in other industrial metals, including copper, zinc, and lead. The price gains appeared to be due to weakness in the US dollar, which fell sharply against a basket of currencies after Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said on Wednesday that rate cuts were still expected this year.

CRU Aluminum: Measuring the Effects of Section 232

With the latest announcement between India and the US easing Section 232 duties, it is clear the duties, initiated in 2018, are under review. Now that five years have passed, a good amount of data has been gathered to analyze the effects of the policy. Judging from each scheduled review of the economic effects of the policy resulting in its continuation, it is clear that it has had a positive impact on parts of the industry. However, there are also a handful of knock-on effects that have become apparent.