Author Archives: Jeff Yoders



The Week in Metals: More Defense Spending, Less Regulation of… Pretty Much Everything

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President Trump’s $1.1 trillion budget blueprint released Thursday proposes dramatic cuts to the State Department and the Environmental Protection Agency while seeking billions more for defense issues and $1.5 billion for the president’s proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall. Noted trade attorney Alan Price, of the Washington law firm Wiley Rein, said the World Trade Organization case that the federal government filed in January on behalf of aluminum producers will essentially serve as a guide for other industries looking to challenge state-subsidized companies’ overproduction for export in the People’s Republic. The Week in Metals brings you the latest procurement and supply chain news from our sister site MetalMiner.

The Week in Metals: Yes, The Mexican Border Wall is Happening

Not only is the Trump administration asking for bids for its promised southern border wall, but the Department of Homeland Security has also added specifications to its request for proposals. The Dakota Access Pipeline can continue construction of the final eight miles of the project underneath Lake Oahe in North Dakota, a federal judge ruled this week. The Week in Metals brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news from MetalMiner.

The Week in Metals: Indonesia, Freeport-McMoran Fight Over Grasberg

The world’s second-largest copper mine, the Grasberg open pit mine, in Indonesia, sits idle as its operator, Arizona-based Freeport-McMoran, and the government of Indonesia squabble over permitting issues. President Donald Trump’s administration is mulling changes to how the U.S. calculates trade deficits. The Week in Metals brings you the latest procurement and supply chain news from our sister site MetalMiner.

The Week in Metals: ‘Member How Strikes Affect Copper Supply? ‘Member Dat?

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Remember when Lead Forecasting Analyst Raul de Frutos warned that work stoppages at major mines Grasberg and Escondida could threaten copper supply and cause prices to rise higher? Guess what happened on Monday? The Week in Metals brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news from our sister site MetalMiner.

The Week in Metals: What is “Buy American”?

The Army Corps of Engineers granted an easement to allow construction of the Dakota Access crude oil pipeline to restart this week. The 1,172-mile project would connect oil production areas in North Dakota to a crude oil terminal near Patoka, Ill. Most of it is done, but owner Energy Transfer Partners will now have to complete the last eight miles of the protested pipeline, with American-made steel a requirement. The Week in Metals brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news from our sister site MetalMiner.

The Week in Metals (and Other Commodities)

This week, the Trump administration let up a bit and fixed its trade imbalance crosshairs on Germany. The two U.S. Senators from North Dakota said this week that the Dakota Access Pipeline is “days, not weeks” from approval by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Week in Metals brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news from our sister site MetalMiner.

Executive Orders Take Over the Week in Metals

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President Donald Trump issued executives early this week to restart the stalled Dakota Access and Keystone XL oil pipelines on Monday and he was just getting started. Trump also wrote a memorandum that will require all the steel to be used in those pipelines to be American-made. The Week in Metals brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news from our sister site MetalMiner.

The Week In Metals: Inauguration Edition

Early in the week Trump broke with traditional protocol for presidents and presidents-elect and said he desires a weaker U.S. dollar. Since the Carter administration, the Federal Reserve has enjoyed relative autonomy in setting the value of the currency, or even talking about its value, as even comments about it by previous presidents have moved the dollar’s value erratically.

True to form, Trump’s comments helped sink the U.S. dollar index by 1% vs. other major currencies. However, our Raul de Frutos helpfully points out this breach of protocol is good for metal prices as is a weaker dollar.

It’s 2017, and We Have Predictions!

This week in metals we looked at where we think some major markets will go in this new year.

James May of Steel-Insight says finished steel flat products will see more demand and, hence, bigger price increases this year. There’ll be more HRC capacity and U.S. Steel might even reopen one of the blast furnaces at its Granite City, Ill., facility, too. And how to best deal with price volatility? Guest Correspondent Jonas Divine shared his personal story with Spend Matters.

Trump Appointees Promise Totally Tubular Tough Trade Enforcement: The Week in Metals

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Welcome to the first Week in Metals of 2017! Remember the ‘80s? Robert Lighthizer does because he was a deputy U.S. Trade Representative back then and he was key to the Reagan Administration stemming the tide of imports from Japan with threats of quotas and punitive tariffs. Now he’s got the top job as the U.S. Trade Rep for the incoming Trump administration

Chinese Commodity Prices and Your Supply Chain

Have you noticed prices from your Chinese suppliers increasing in the last month and a half or have you been living in a cave? Is there anything you can do to stop these increases from impacting your bottom line as much? If you read us, the answer is yes (about the prices, not the cave). While many of these costs go to a supplier’s bottom line, being an educated buyer can stop you from having them passed directly to yours.