Canada bites back against Trump’s aluminium tariffs
As aluminium stockists, we’re always fascinated to hear the latest news about the metal. Canada has just placed a massive C$3.6bn (£2.1bn) tariff on north American aluminium products just one day after Trump slapped a 10% tariff on Canadian aluminium products. The news comes following last year’s deal to lift tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, previously imposed by the US President because of worries over ‘national security’.
Canada’s own tariffs come into effect from 16th September this year, after Canada’s deputy PM Chrystia Freeland promised a ‘dollar-for-dollar’ battle. She was furious about Trump’s timing, saying that ,
“At a time when we are fighting a global pandemic… a trade dispute is the last thing anyone needs”, and calling the president’s actions ‘ludicrous’.
Canada doesn’t believe their aluminium is a threat to the US’ national security. Quite the opposite. The news could mean ordinary Americans will suffer because the metal needed to make goods consumed in the USA will only become more expensive as a result of the tariffs.
Trump said US tariffs on Canada were necessary to defend the domestic aluminium industry, because the country’s producers had broken their promise to stop flooding the USA with cheaper metal. He claims his tariffs are, “absolutely necessary to defend our aluminium industry.”
Canada’s Chamber of Commerce said the tariffs were the “wrong instrument” when they were first imposed in 2018, and they remain just as wrong now. And the US-based National Foreign Trade Council says the new tariffs represent a “misguided action”. Whatever happens next, if you need aluminium, walk this way – we’re a reliable and trusted UK aluminium supplier.
Copper demand set to soar in the new, greener world
Copper stands to benefit in a greener world, a vital metal in the production of clean, green electricity. The vast amounts of new wiring we need to bring about the green revolution should keep copper in high demand for the foreseeable future, as more companies every day move away from fossil fuels and towards renewables.
Renewable energies tend to rely heavily on copper, and we’re already seeing Covid-led supply disruption issues in South America, where the two biggest producers in the world are based. Supply issues that affect South America also affect the entire copper market, so there could be tricky times ahead for the metal.
Steel plant build delays in Canada
Plans to kick off the build of the new Nova Tube and Steel CAD 70 million plant in Delta, Canada, have been put off until 2021. The job was meant to begin in early May 2020 but stopped in its tracks thanks to Covid-19. Now there’s a new completion date on the cards, this time September or October 2021, with a fully operative date of January 2022. The plant is being built to produce structural tubing, and land clearance begins this September.
Global crude stainless steel production just 47.2 million tonnes for 2020
Four years in a row of growth are about to end, with a slump of around 10% in the world’s crude stainless steel production for 2020. It’s all down to the pandemic, and the unique measures put in place globally to limit the virus’ spread. In March worldwide production was down almost 6% year on year and April to June saw an estimated drop in production of 20% worldwide.
Big production cuts in the EU at the peak of the virus led to weak orders, and most stainless steel makers usually shut for the summer holidays. All this means we should see a seasonal dip, followed by a ‘gradual increase’ in activity. The US is expected to recover slowly, following a big dip in output, and the virus is expected to continue to hamper recovery in the USA.
As far as the second and third quarters of 2020 are concerned, production will be depressed further thanks to the strict lockdowns in India and China, which have already seen significant downturns. South Korea and Taiwan should fare better and Japan, which has struggled with substantial decreases in production, is predicted to recover later in 2020, ultimately achieving output rates very like those it enjoyed in 2019.
Posh steel watch
As popular stainless steel suppliers in the UK, we’re always interested in novel uses for the metal. How about Omega’s famous Calibre 321 watch, which was hugely popular with NASA astronauts? The premium 321 was discontinued in 1968. Now it’s back, a long-held secret just announced. The new 321 is being created by a special division at Omega, using a traditional system where every movement is assembled from the ground up by just one watchmaker, not on a production line. Omega has just announced its new Speedmaster Moonwatch 321 Stainless Steel is on the way to market, a snip at a mere £11,950. Nice!
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