For buyers and category managers, especially those of you who are at the heart of commodity buying and management, here’s a quick look at the news and insights on particular commodity markets. , including Tata Steel and its plans to spin off its European assets, a European Steel Survey and more.
MetalMiner, one of our sister sites, is scouring the landscape for what matters. This week:
Tata Steel seeks buyers of European assets
Tata Steel is looking to divest its European assets in the UK and the Netherlands, MetalMiner’s Stuart Burns explained this week.
The strategy comes after the European Commission blocked a merger of the European business of Tata Steel and the steel unit of German company ThyssenKrupp.
The Swedish SSAB is said to be a contender for Tata Netherlands, Burns noted. The main asset of Tata’s operations in the country is the IJmuiden integrated steel plant.
The fate of Tata’s UK operations is less clear.
“What will happen to Tata Steel’s Port Talbot integrated steel plant is pending,” Burns wrote.
“Additionally, buyers are undoubtedly put off by the uncertainty of Brexit and what the UK post-Brexit manufacturing landscape will look like.
“Port Talbot is the UK’s largest steel mill. The factory employs thousands of workers and is the lifeblood of employment in the South Wales economy. “
European steel picture
Aside from Tata Steel but remained in Europe, Christopher Rivituso, a MetalMiner collaborator, studied the central and eastern European steel scene in the first of a two-part series.
“Steel mills in Central and Eastern European states that are members of the European Union face not only higher costs, but also environmental restrictions that could potentially mean an additional $ 30-40 per tonne to manufacture steel. ‘steel.
“China’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in increased steel production and cheaper imports.
“As a result, the rebound in China had an additional impact on European steelmakers in Central and Eastern Europe.”
The steel situation in Ukraine
Meanwhile, in Part II of Rivituso’s European Steel Inquiry, he describes the challenges Ukraine’s steel industry faces.
“The Donetsk region, once the industrial heart of Ukraine and the location of the majority of steel and rolling assets, is now part of the separatist and unrecognized People’s Republic of Donetsk,” Rivituso explained. “The republic includes Donetsk Steel, the Yenakievo and Makeyevo factories of the integrated metallurgical and mining group Metinvest and the Khartzysk pipe factory.”
According to an analyst Rivituso spoke with, “nobody knows what’s going on over there.”
India, US reject trade deal with RCEP
Earlier this week, 15 Asia-Pacific countries signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a trade pact that comprises around 30% of global GDP.
“The aim is to give preferential treatment to trade between member countries,” wrote Sohrab Darabshaw of MetalMiner. “This treatment comes in the form of lower tariffs, preferential market access, a customs union or free trade in specific sectors.”
China is notably a signatory to this massive trade agreement, in addition to Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia.
However, the United States and India are absent.
In a statement, leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) said the door was still open for India to join.
The price of oil is skyrocketing
Although still languishing well below pre-pandemic levels, the price of WTI crude oil closed at $ 41.82 a barrel on Monday, up $ 0.37 from the previous week, according to the Energy Information Administration. (EIA).
However, Monday’s closing price was $ 13.39 per barrel lower from the previous year.
Meanwhile, US crude oil inventories have declined but remain well above 2019 levels. Inventories for the week ending November 13 totaled 484.4 million barrels. The weekly fell 8.0 million barrels from the previous week. However, inventories increased by 37.6 million barrels from the previous year.