Afternoon Coffee: The Burgeoning Electric Vehicle Supply Chain, Steel Tariffs Still on Table

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Recent investments by Detroit and a potential combustion engine ban from China are pushing manufacturers and suppliers to further develop the electric vehicle supply chain, the Wall Street Journal reports. Ford Motor Co., for example, recently announced it had formed “Team Edison,” a Detroit-based group that will explore partnerships with suppliers and other companies to advance electric vehicle technology and increase profitability.

Steel Tariffs

Nucor CEO John Ferriola said the White House has assured him the Trump administration will impose new tariffs on steel imports, according to Bloomberg. The White House missed a self-imposed deadline in June to complete an investigation into whether steel imports threaten national security, and the tariffs are now expected to be delayed until after tax reform is completed.

Freight Prices

China’s Golden Week is sending freight prices up to a four-and-a-half-month high, Platts reports. Lumpsum rates soared to $3.3 million for a VLCC, basis 270,000 mt, at the end of last week, the highest since May 16.

Factory Activity

And finally, an economic update: Hurricanes Harvey and Irma caused U.S. manufacturing activity to surge to a 13-and-a-half-month high, Reuters reports. The Institute for Supply Management’s gauge of factory activity rose to 60.8 from 58.8 in August, the highest reading since May 2004.

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