IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: 5 key stories from May 29

Here are five Fastmarkets MB stories you might have missed on Wednesday May 29 that are worth another look.

The South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union was due to start a country-wide port strike at 17.30 local time on Wednesday May 29. Although the union claimed the action will bring South Africa’s economy “to a standstill,” manganese and chrome market sources said it was too early to assess the potential impact of the strike on the market.

The chairman of largest Mexican integrated steelmaker Altos Hornos de México (Ahmsa), Alonso Ancira Elizondo, has been arrested in Spain, the company announced on May 28. Elsewhere in steel, Germany’s ThyssenKrupp is in talks with steel division chief executive officer Andreas Goss about his future following news of the likely failure of its planned European flat steel joint venture with Tata Steel Europe. Separately, ArcelorMittal plans further cuts to its steel output in Europe “to further align its production to current market demand,” the company said on May 29.

The Chinese government has started inspections ahead of issuing ferrous and non-ferrous scrap metal import licenses for the second half of 2019 to avoid a potential month-long disruption of all scrap imports, the country’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) said on Wednesday.

Switzerland-headquartered miner-trader Glencore has reached a long-term revolving agreement to supply Belgian battery-materials manufacturer Umicore AS with cobalt hydroxide, Glencore said on May 29.

Fastmarkets looks at recent developments in the lithium industry and key topics likely up for discussion at the 11th Lithium Supply & Markets conference in Santiago, Chile, on June 10-12.

What to read next
Any bolstering effect on US ferrous scrap exports from the up-month in February’s domestic trade will be tempered in the immediate aftermath of two earthquakes in Turkey — the country’s largest importing region — on Monday, February 6
Steel trading and production have come to a halt in the eastern Turkish region of Iskenderun following a devastating earthquake that hit the region on Monday February 6 and put mills in the area under force majeure, sources told Fastmarkets on Tuesday
A 120-day closure of four Illinois dams scheduled for 2023 will disrupt barge shipments and have potentially both negative and positive impacts on scrap and finished steel products from Canada to Texas
Market participants are cautiously optimistic about a rebound in iron ore concentrate premiums, with steelmakers around the world set to ramp-up production in line with an anticipated increase in demand for steel products, Fastmarkets understands
General Motors (GM) is investing $650 million to develop the Thacker Pass mine in Nevada, the largest known source of lithium in the US and the third largest in the world
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