Tag: china

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: Baltimore bridge collapse affects more than half of US thermal coal exports

A container ship collided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore on March 26, causing it to collapse. This has blocked sea lanes into and out of Baltimore port, which is the largest source of US seaborne thermal coal exports. The port usually exports 1–1.5 million metric tons (mt) of thermal coal per month. It is uncertain when sea shipping will be restored. But it could be several weeks or more. There are coal export terminals in Virginia, though diversion to these ports would raise costs.

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: Low demand continues to weigh on global sheet prices

A weak start for sheet demand this year has continued to weigh on global prices. European demand outside of the renewable energy sector was weak enough that market participants said mills are likely to cut output further after several furnace restarts earlier in the year. In China, demand has also failed to pick up after recent holidays, and even government announcements of more stimulus measures during the country’s “Two Sessions” meetings failed to boost market confidence.