The state of British steel, metal asteroids, LME chaos and more
Welcome to 2023, which is already looking turbulent. The nation’s steel industry is still in a state of perma-crisis, there’s trouble brewing at the London Metals Exchange, and people are doing crazy things with dangerous loads of metal. But we’re keeping calm and carrying on as usual. If you want 6061 aluminium flat bar, walk this way. The same goes for brass round bar cz121 and a load more essential and unusual alloys. Here’s the news.
The state of British steel
The old blast furnace at Redcar steelworks on Teesside, which used to make a massive 3.6 million tonnes of iron a year, was demolished in November 2022. Right now Grant Shapps and Michael Gove are pressuring the Chancellor to hand out a £300m subsidy to help keep blast furnaces at Scunthorpe running and save 3000 jobs. One union boss says the Government needs to decide, once and for all, whether they want the country to have a steel industry. At the same time The UK will need at least 10 million tonnes of steel to power itself sustainably and meet climate change targets. On top of all that, on 5th January shares in Tata Steel traded at an eight month high. It’s a mess. As trusted carbon steel suppliers and popular steel suppliers in the UK, we’ll keep you posted, and we’ll keep on supplying you with the steel you need.
Chaos at LME
The chair of the London Metal Exchange says she’s going to leave her job following a ‘turbulent’ time battling a nickel trading scandal that closed the marketplace and cancelled almost four billion dollars worth of trades. It looks like Gay Huey Evans CBE won’t be re-elected but will leave as soon as a new chair is chosen. The crisis in the nickel market blew up in March 2022 as the Ukraine war sent prices into freefall, and the exchange shut its doors thanks to the ‘disorderly’ conditions.
You know those metal rivets in your jeans?
Roll back time to the 1870s and your Levis working jeans would wear and tear in no time, especially around the pockets and zip. Jacob Davis decided to hammer metal rivets in the vulnerable places. Like the small pocket in Levis, which was originally where you’d put your pocket watch, the rivets have been kept as a nod to the brand’s origins.
Hydro’s plans to use aluminium for renewable wind
As reported by Windtech International, the Norwegian aluminium and energy company Hydro is collaborating with World Wide Wind, a Norwegian company developing a floating turbine. Together they’ll be exploring the potential for aluminium in the renewable wind sector, designing floating wind turbines specifically for offshore projects in deep waters. The aim is to use sustainable, recyclable materials including aluminium, giving Hydro an exciting opportunity to enter the fast-developing wind turbine industry.
‘Huge’ dangerous load sees van driver in hot water
A van driver was stopped by police after moving a huge load of metal in an eye-wateringly dangerous way, lashing it to the back of his van and making the vehicle longer than a bus. The police couldn’t believe their eyes when they spotted the truck near Halifax in West Yorkshire. The driver had tied a high-vis jacket to the end of the load but as the police said, ‘if the load you want to transport is twice as long as your van and maybe even touch longer than a bus, it’s perhaps a wise idea to find a different way of transporting it.’
Rusal wants to supply low carbon aluminium to China
Rusal, the Russian aluminium company, wants to send more low-carbon aluminium to China in the face of a surge in demand from electric vehicle manufacturers. Rusal’s annual electrolytic aluminium production capacity of four million tonnes is mostly low-carbon, responsible for no more than four tonnes of CO2 emissions. The Russian firm already sells 400,000 – 500,000 tonnes of aluminium to China, which imports 1.58 million tonnes in total each year. Rusal is offering a premium of $20 – $40 per tonne of low-carbon aluminium at instant delivery prices in China, listed on the LME in Europe at as much as $60 per tonne.
NASA’s Psyche mission set to launch in October
In October a NASA spacecraft called Psyche will launch on a four year mission to explore a weird potato-shaped asteroid in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The asteroid, which is also called Psyche, is so far away it’s just a blur when observed using space-based telescopes. The unusual object might be a left over metal core from a planet, perhaps a chunk of primordial material that never melted. If it turns out to be a core, it’ll be ‘like peering inside the very heart of a planet like earth’.
Quality UK metal supplies
Whatever happens we’ll always do everything we can to supply the metals you need, when you need them, at a fair price, whether it’s 5083 aluminum round bar, 5083 tooling plate, something else altogether, or you need expert help choosing the right metal.
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