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Metal Supply News January 2018

Metal supplies UK is the name of the game here at Metalex, and it’s our job to keep our finger on the pulse as regards new developments in the metal supply sector. Here’s the news for January 2018.

It’s all go for copper – Set to fly high in 2018

In late December 2017 copper prices continued their stellar rise, ending up at the highest level for more or less four years and putting the industry on the right track for the best year since 2010, great news for copper mining outfits after many years of chronic over-supply. The news supports an overall higher industrial demand for base metals in general. And demand for the metal is currently particularly strong in China.

Meanwhile the Lomas Bayas copper mine in Chile has just narrowly avoided industrial action by miners thanks to Unionised workers accepting a new labour contract at the last minute. And the mining exploration company SolGold confesses to being ‘elated’ by confirmation of a whopper of a new copper deposit in Ecuador that could prove merely the tip of an even bigger iceberg.

Mexico enjoys numerous precious natural resources, including gold, silver and copper. The Sierra Madre region is rich in old artisan mining camps where the metals were mined on a primitive open cast basis. But these days drones plus more advanced geophysical surveys than ever are revealing new ways to get the metal out of the ground in areas of copper mineralisation. Being the world’s tenth biggest copper producer, Mexico is where Grupo Mexico is based, a huge firm that owns 85% of one of the planet’s biggest copper producers, Southern Copper.

Carbon Steel price hikes predicted

AK Steel Holding Corporation is set to increase the spot market base price for every type of carbon flat-rolled steel product by at least forty US dollars per ton thanks to the fast-rising cost of materials, and the price hike will take p;lace immediately. Their shares have plummeted by almost 12% over the last three months, compared to an overall industry growth of 18.7%. They’re currently busy developing various new, very advanced and exceptionally high-strength carbon steels for their automotive customers.

South Korean line pipe steel attracts anti-dumping duties

Meanwhile in Ottawa, Canada is planning to bring about severe anti-dumping duties on some kinds of imported carbon and alloy steel line pipe from South Korea. The decision came after a long investigation, following a complaint from the Canadian steel firm Evraz and Canmore, Alta’s Canadian National Steel Corporation. The decision affects South Korean line pipe with a diameter of 2.3 and 24 inches. More details about the investigation are due to be released later in January.

Steel framed bicycles – More popular than they’ve been for years

Carbon dominates the road bike market, and aluminium is perfect for budget racing bikes. But steel, often overlooked, is also brilliant for bicycle frames, especially since retro good looks are in fashion. Popular cycle events like L’Eroicacelebrate vintage bikes, and steel framed bikes are apparently more popular than ever right now. Custom frame-builders are busy creating stunning, beautifully made frames, works of art as well as high-performance machinery, and some of the latest uber-stylish steel-framed off-the-shelf models are surprisingly affordable, featuring both low weight and high performance.

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