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gui yong nian/Adobe Stock

This morning in metals news, the U.S. is reportedly looking to impose steel quotas on Mexico, the World Steel Association boosts its forecast for global steel demand and U.S. Steel reaches a tentative agreement with United Steelworkers to avoid a potential strike.

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U.S. Eyes Mexico Steel Quotas

According to Reuters, citing the top trade negotiator for the incoming Mexican government, the U.S. is looking to impose steel quotas on Mexico as part of negotiations around removal of the existing Section 232 tariffs (which remain in play despite the recently agreed upon NAFTA deal, now called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement).

MetalMiner’s Take: If Canada or Mexico are granted quotas, domestic steel prices may continue decreasing slightly. Currently, steel imports from both countries are both subject to a tariff current situation on steel imports is for a 25% tariff from both countries.

Domestic steel prices are currently in a short-term downtrend, but still remain high. Buying organizations may want to understand steel trends to buy forward when prices start the uptrend again.

Global Steel Demand Forecasted to Rise

The World Steel Association doubled its steel demand forecast for 2018 and 2019, Reuters reported.

According to the report, steel demand is projected to rise 1.4% next year, up from a 0.7% projection in April.

Making a Deal

U.S. Steel announced Monday that it had reached a tentative deal with United Steelworkers, according to a MarketWatch report, staving off a strike.

On the heels of rising steel prices, workers had demanded an increase in wages. The deal covers approximately 16,000 workers across the country, according to a United Steelworkers release.

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Contract negotiations began over the summer and have continued long past Sept. 1, when the previous contract officially expired.

The U.S. Department of Commerce. qingwa/Adobe Stock

The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) announced late last week that it had initiated anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations related to imports of aluminum wire and cable from China.

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According to the DOC, imports of the products from China in 2017 were valued at $157.2 million (up from $116.6 million in 2016).

The petitioners in the case were Encore Wire Corporation (of McKinney, Texas) and Southwire Company, LLC (of Carrollton, Georgia), which filed petitions with the DOC on Sept. 21.

The DOC calculated dumping margins of 53.54-63.47% with respect to the aluminum wire and cable imports.

The case now moves to the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC), which is scheduled to make a preliminary determination on or before Nov. 5. If the USITC rules in the affirmative, the case moves back to the DOC, which would be scheduled to make a preliminary ruling in the countervailing duty probe by Dec. 17 and a preliminary anti-dumping ruling by Feb. 28, 2019.

MetalMiner’s Annual Outlook provides 2018 buying strategies for carbon steel

According to the DOC fact sheet for the case — citing the U.S. Census Bureau — the U.S. imported 42,788 metric tons of the product from China in 2017, up 48.4% from the 28,839 tons imported in 2016.