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The EC has further exacerbated the supply situation for aluminum in the European Union with a recent anti-dumping decision. In the United States, nickel briquette premiums are up almost 35%. Chinese stainless steel rises to 7-year high amid this year’s (non-existent) off-season. And EU steelmakers are furious over lost cash giveaways.

Stainless Espresso: Aluminum shortage in the EU continues to worsen
Stainless Espresso: Aluminum shortage in the EU continues to worsen

EU: Aluminum shortage further exacerbated by EC

The EC on July 13, 2021 further raised the hurdles to solving the rampant aluminum shortage in the European Union by publishing its General Disclosure Document on case AD668 Anti-dumping investigation concerning imports of aluminum flat-rolled products originating in the People’s Republic of China.

Chinese aluminum anti-dumping duties of up to 24.6%

The decision now makes it even more difficult for downstream companies to import much-needed aluminum products into Europe. And has again met the wishes of EU aluminum producers with the imposition of anti-dumping duties of 14.3% to 24.6% on Chinese aluminum products.

Source: europa.eu

US nickel briquettes premiums up by almost 35%

US nickel briquette premiums have risen by almost 35% in the past week and are at their highest level in 3 years. This puts them almost on par with US cut cathode premiums.

Nickel on the LME is showing robustness today and and currently stands at around $18.692 per tonne.

Source: lme.com

Supply shortage: Chinese stainless steel prices at seven year high

It had to come as it had to come. The Chinese government has been working massively for months to initiate a green shift in steel production and consolidate the domestic steel market as a whole. Cuts in steel exports and the reduction of output overall were just one of the many measures.

Ferrous futures are on the rise

Having already risen throughout 2021, ferrous futures prices have now risen again.

Supply fears push stainless steel to 7-year high

Combined with stainless steel production cuts, power supply shortages, increased ferrous futures and fresh liquidity from a reduction in Chinese bank reserves, this has catapulted stainless steel futures to its seven-year high.

Steel prices continue to rise in the off-season, not only in China

It is therefore no longer surprising that prices rise in the middle of the so-called off-season. The situation could be similar in Europe. And in the United States, HRC prices have just cracked the US$91/cwt mark.

CBAM – EC to reduce subsidies for EU steelmakers

On July 14, 2021, the European Commission unveiled its ambitious “Fit for 55” plan to transform Europe green.

As the EC draft legislation we have been able to view envisages, it will initially primarily hit steel, cement, aluminum, fertilizers and electricity. And these will be subject to carbon tariffs when imported into the EU.

EU steelmakers to get fewer cash giveaways

EU steelmakers and their lobbying organization Eurofer fought hard for CBAM to be introduced. But are now dissatisfied with the result. As the biggest polluters in the EU, they should also bear part of the costs of the green transformation. In return, they are to be deprived of part of the free ETS certificates.

Upset among EU steel producers

This announcement has apparently led to some tears at Eurofer and subsequent threats toward the EU, as is clear from a recent S&P article.

Gerber Group welcomes reduction in free ETS allowances

Thorsten Gerber, CEO of Gerber Group commented today, “We are pleased that the European Commission has taken up our proposals of recent months to allow the over-subsidized European steel industry to share in the costs of the green transformation. The planned reduction in the allocation of free ETS certificates is a first step in the right direction. Now it is a matter of remaining persistent with the EC in this regard.”

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