Select Page

Metal Suppliers News

Our world is a place of dramatic highs and lows right now. As aluminium suppliers we’re pleased to see the industry cleaning up its act so quickly in the face of runaway climate change. As carbon steel suppliers we’re watching what’s happening to the British Steel sale, hoping all 4000 jobs can be saved, as well as keeping our eyes open for new innovations. Here’s the news.

.

British Steel’s French factory up for sale separately

According to a report by the BBC, British Steel’s French factory, Hayange, is up for sale, but the sale is being made separately from the metal giant’s British operation. Odder still, it’s happening even though a Chinese firm has proposed a deal designed to save the entire company.

Jingye is happy to pay around £50m to take over British Steel and save the 4000 jobs that depend on its survival. While the French authorities have the power to prevent the sale, and may also have approved the ‘for sale’ adverts, the GMB union are concerned and will be ‘seeking assurances’ from Jingye that they want to maintain the business as a whole and not break it up.

The Union will, “also be seeking commitments from Jingye that their business plan is robust enough to withstand any proposed split and that there is no danger of the deal for the UK sites being scuppered, should the French government decide to withdraw their approval.” As reported by the Financial Times, Jingye executives “were furious” about the French move and have submitted a request to the French authorities for approval of their investment.

The reasoning behind the separate sale remains a mystery, although some believe it’s a kind of contingency measure just in case the Jingye acquisition falls through. France has a special interest in the plant since it makes steel for the state-owned railway network so is an important asset.

Apple buys the world’s first ever commercial batch of ‘green’ aluminium

Apple Inc has bought the world’s first commercial batch of carbon free aluminium from a joint venture created by two of the world’s biggest suppliers of the metal. Elysis is the Montreal-based joint venture between Alcoa Corp and Rio Tinto, who joined with Apple, the Canadian government and the authorities in Quebec to fund the initiative. The 100% carbon free metal will be shipped this month Pittsburgh, to be used in the manufacture of Apple products.

This is big news because aluminium production is naturally carbon intensive, involving sending electrical current through a huge block of carbon called an anode, which then burns off to create CO2. Aluminium has been made the same old way for over 120 years. The threat of runaway climate change and the resulting worldwide climate protests have finally driven innovation onwards.

By 2024 the Alcoa-Rio joint venture wants to commercialise the technology, which uses a ceramic anode that only emits oxygen, completely removing direct greenhouse gas emissions from the smelting process. It also looks like existing smelting facilities can be retrofitted to use the new tech. Better still the operating costs of greener aluminium are lower than those found in traditional aluminium smelting.

LME suggests a new market for ‘green’ aluminium

As reported by Reuters, the London Metal Exchange is thinking about creating a new market for so-called ‘green’ aluminium. They’re currently talking to the metals industry about supporting the transition to a low carbon economy, focusing on aluminium. And they want to ‘define a clear route forward on green aluminium’ by the new year, according to LME CEO Matt Chamberlain. It matters because electricity accounts for as much as 40% of the production costs for primary aluminium, and most of the metal is made in China, where electricity is often generated by coal-fired plants.

USA slaps steel and aluminium import tariffs on Brazil and Argentina

Donald Trump plans to add hefty tariffs to imported steel and aluminium from Brazil and Argentina, convinced that both countries are involved in ‘currency manipulation’. In Trump’s words, “Brazil and Argentina have been presiding over a massive devaluation of their currencies. Which is not good for our farmers.”

Argentina and Brazil have suffered serious currency problems in the past couple of years, with the Brazilian Real reaching a record low against the US dollar. This year it’s down almost 10% thanks to interest rate reductions, political tension and weaknesses in emerging markets. At the same time the Argentina Peso has lost just short of 60% of its value against the dollar during 2019 thanks to debt, populist politics and a jittery market.

Trust us for all your metal supplies

The metal supplies UK market constantly changes in line with the international scene. We like to keep our fingers on the pulse, which means we have the knowledge needed to give our customers the best deals. Walk this way for British metals supply excellence!

Please complete the enquiry form located on this page, call +44 (0) 330 223 2653 or email us to discover how Metalex could be supplying you with premium metal products and professional metal processing services.

THE LATEST FROM THE BLOG

Metal suppliers UK news digest – Developments in the metals world

Digital innovation helps make the aluminium smelting process more efficient, cheaper, safer and greener. Nissan creates an aluminium-rich, lighter, more efficient car at its Sunderland plant. A bottleneck in Malaysia means the EU and USA face ongoing shortages of...

About aluminium 2014 – Tough enough for aerospace applications

  Aluminium Alloy 2014 is a copper-based alloy with very high strength and excellent machining characteristics at some tempers. Aluminium 2014 is the second most popular alloy in the 2000 series, the most popular being Aluminium 2024 alloy. Aluminium  2014 is...

Metal suppliers news – Prices rally, record-breaking recycling and more

As aluminium suppliers and steel suppliers in the UK, we are fascinated to see how fast our world is changing. Many of the changes are for the better, good for our environment and for the future. Here's the latest metals news, from our world to yours.  Liberty...

About aluminium 2011 – Brilliant machining and poor weldability

  Aluminium 2011 was created to allow great machining at high speeds. Doing so can result in fine chips being produced, but they're easy to remove. Because it comes with such good machining characteristics, it's often used to create very detailed and highly...

The latest news from your favourite metal suppliers UK

As experts in metal supplies we like to keep our fingers on the pulse. This time around there's the usual mix of good and not-so-good news, a blend of brilliant climate innovations on one hand and bad times for the UK steel industry on the other, plus stiff new EU...

About aluminium 6262 – Heat treatable with great corrosion resistance

Aluminium alloy 6262 is a popular heat treatable alloy. It comes with excellent corrosion resistance and it is also very strong. If you're going to do heavy cutting you'll need an oil lubricant, other than that you can easily cut it dry.About aluminium 6262 – Heat...

Metal supplier news – Goodbye coking coal, Cumbria re-think, China gets tough

There's plenty going on in the turbulent world of steel at the moment. As steel suppliers in the UK we're delighted to learn that there's no need for one of the nastiest fossil fuels around, coking coal, to play a role in steel production in future – it's goodbye to...

About Aluminium 7075t6 – Low low weight and high stress resistance

Let's dive deep into the fine detail behind aluminium 7075t6, a popular alloy that comes with a low weight and an unusually high resistance to stress, usually available as plate and round bar. About Aluminium 7075t6 – Low low weight and high stress resistance Let's...

Metalex agromining special – How to farm rare metals

Some developments in the metal supply world are so exciting they deserve their own post. This is one of them. As metal stockists, this one blows our mind! Thank you to New Scientist magazine. Metalex agromining special – How to farm rare metals Some developments in...

About aluminium tooling plate – Cast, rolled and moulded

A fine granular structure sits at the heart of aluminium tooling plate, a popular metal that rolls out of our place in large quantities - pardon the pun!About aluminium tooling plate – Cast, rolled and moulded A fine granular structure sits at the heart of aluminium...

Accreditations & Associations

Aluminium Stockholders Association

Quick Enquiry

  • South East
  • South West
  • London
  • South Wales
  • North Wales
  • West Midlands
  • East Midlands
  • North East
  • North West
  • Scotland
  • Northern Ireland
  • Nothing found

CALL METALEX NOW ON
0330 223 2653