Friday, March 30, 2007
Make It Metal
For a while now they've also run a directory of metal formers and stampers called Make It Metal. It's oriented towards people who are looking to find a metal stamper or former to make parts for them. You can search by metalforming process, and, if you don't know what the processes are, you can click through them and get a little introduction to each.
But as a slide former, I often get requests to quote where only some of the parts are correct for my process. Sometimes I'll help the buyer to find sources for the other components I can't make. Where do I go? Make it Metal. Check it out.
Kobe Steel Ltd said Thursday it has developed a new aluminum alloy, which it claims is the world's strongest, for use in vehicles and fuel tanks for space shuttles.
tensile strength 10% higher than the aluminum-lithium alloy developed by Lockheed Martin
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Trio of reopened operations adds more jobs than expected
East Tennessee Zinc Co. - a new zinc mining operation in Knox and Jefferson counties - has grown to more than 330 employees since its start last fall and expects to grow even more, a company official said Monday.
The Young mine in New Market opened in 1956; the Coy mine in Strawberry Plains was started in 1957; and the Immel mine in East Knox County's Mascot community opened in 1965.
But it's an interesting result none-the-less.
Mail & Guardian Online
South African steel giant Mittal Steel has contravened the Competition Act by charging excessive prices, the Competition Tribunal ruled on Tuesday.
It found that the company contravened section 8(a) of the Act by charging an excessive price for its flat steel products to the detriment of consumers.
Monday, March 26, 2007
The International Iron and Steel Institute (IISI) revised its forecast for global steel demand in 2007 up to 5.9 percent on Monday, citing particularly strong demand from Africa, Asia and South America.
The steelmakers' association had forecast in October that deliveries to the market by manufacturers and importers would rise 5.2 percent this year.
Growth at the foreast 5.9 percent would bring total steel demand to 1.179 billion tonnes, up 65 million from 2006.
IISI Secretary General Ian Christmas had told Reuters last month that the group had probably been too cautious with its initial demand estimate given continued strong economic growth in China.
Nippon Steel Corp. and Arcelor Mittal have forged an agreement to expand their U.S. automotive sheet steel capacity in a deal that could see up to 30 billion yen ($252 million) invested in new plants and equipment, the influential Nikkei daily reported Monday.
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Zinc, having hit $2, is down to $1.45, but there was a short run up a few weeks ago.
Nickel, which was $3 5 years ago, is now $22, more than 5 times the price of 5 years ago and shows no sign of slowing down.
You can see the historical charts yourself here: Copper, Zinc & Nickel
all courtesy of Kitco Metals.
Russia will increase steel supplies to the European market by 15 percent in 2007 compared to a year earlier, Veronika Nikishina, the Economy Ministry's foreign markets department chief, told journalists, citing an agreement between Russia and the EU on steel supplies to European markets scheduled to be signed in April.
Sunday, March 18, 2007
The end of a lockout that lasted nearly 13 months at its Middletown Works plant gave AK Steel Holding Corp. a labor contract it hopes will make the company more competitive in the global steel industry, but it remains unclear whether the company can sustain its goal of avoiding a takeover.
AK capped its pension and health-care costs and won the right to completely restructure its work force, eliminating a minimum limit on the number of employees and reducing about 1,000 job classifications to seven.
Philippine copper output is expected to rise 85% this year and gold output by 16% due to the opening of new mines funded by foreigners, Environment Secretary Angelo Reyes said yesterday.
“Our projections show that, indeed, the Philippine mining industry is facing a major take-off in the next two to three years as five of the world’s largest mining players are now in the country doing exploration and mining development,” Reyes told Reuters in an e-mail, in response to questions.
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Canada lost 35,000 manufacturing jobs between January and February. This staggering one-month decline pushes the cumulative loss to 250,000 since Canadian manufacturing peaked in November 2002.
Most of February’s devastating decline took place in Quebec, which lost 33,000 manufacturing jobs.
Ronald Reagan [...] said there is no such thing as free trade if one side is cheating. What we've done is we have acquiesced to cheating. That was manifested in the split in the National Association of Manufacturers. The big guys said, essentially, we don't mind the one-way street because we're on the other end of the street. We are Chinese corporations for practical purposes. That is the essence of what their conversation was to the domestic manufacturers, and hence the split.
For practical purposes, many of the multinational corporations have become Chinese corporations. They like the fact that they are subsidized by their new government, which is China, and that they're able to push American products that are made in the United States off the shelves.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Their basic premise is that Chinese currency manipulation is unfair. Well, of course it is. It's also illegal under various statutes and international obligations. I'm no lawyer, so I'll leave that one to the lawyers.
I can tell you this. Currency manipulation was rampant during the second world war war, and it was used as a weapon of war. That's pretty serious. So why don't we take these things seriously now?
Sunday, March 11, 2007
The low-cost allure of emerging economies such China, India and eastern Europe for Western companies is overdone once the meager productivity of their workers is factored in, the Conference Board said Oct. 3. Bart van Ark, director of the Conference Board's international economic research program, said the report was a 'critical lesson' to Western companies seeking to take advantage of lower costs in emerging economies.
Add to that the fact that certain materials, like spring steel and stainless steel, aren't available in sufficient quantity and quality, and it's unclear why people think offshoring is a good idea.
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
It seems like someone may be doing something about it.
China will close its dirtiest steel mills as it steps up efforts to rein in surging energy use and clean up environmental damage caused by its economic boom, Premier Wen Jiabao said Monday.
However, the word and the deed are sometimes separated.
Wen acknowledged Sunday that China failed to meet its conservation targets last year.
On Monday, he promised to "resolutely close down" its oldest, dirtiest steel mills, power plants and facilities in the cement, aluminum and coke industries.
Scotia Capital metals analyst Onno Rutter Sunday said the quality of future copper projects is generally lower than currently producing copper mines, noting lower grades and the remote locations in politically unstable areas.
In a presentation to the Prospectors and Developers Association Conference in Toronto, Rutter said the project pipeline for copper “appears barely adequate to supply the market.”
But the timeframe is fairly long ...
Scotia forecasts an annual global copper demand growth rate ranging from 3.7% to 4.6% until 2010. Meanwhile, despite some direct predictions, Rutter insisted that copper reserves are not running out any time soon, estimating that 28 years of copper supply is still available in proven and probable reserves.
Rutter asserted that the world remains in a copper supercycle where inventories remain low by historic standards, and price volatility is expected to remain high over the next four years.
Meanwhile, Rutter speculated that long-term copper demand may be impacted by what he called irreversible substitution.
Nickel and copper led a global slump in commodities Monday as tumbling share prices stoked concern that slowing Chinese and U.S. economic growth would curb demand for raw materials.
Nickel fell 3.7 percent, its biggest drop in a month, after stockpiles rose for a fourth consecutive session. Copper dropped 3 percent and oil fell almost 2 percent. Commodities climbed to record levels in May before ending lower last year.
Thursday, March 01, 2007
Copper prices fell the most in more than three weeks on the London Metal Exchange and zinc posted the largest drop since Feb. 2, after U.S. new-home sales and manufacturing data indicated a further slowdown in metals usage.
AK Steel Holding Corp. said Wednesday it has reached a tentative settlement with union workers at its Middletown Works plant that would end a year-old lockout fought over the steelmaker's demands for lower labor costs.