METALS: The week in 10 stories

By
Friday, May 19, 2017

Altos Hornos de México (Ahmsa) announced the lifting of a strike at two coal mines and a processing plant in Mexico.

Workers have previously downed tools at three mines and one processing plant operated by the Mexican steelmaker in a dispute over profit-sharing payments, the company told BNamericas.

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Still in Mexico, silver exports from the world's top miner of the metal rose sharply in Q1, with gold edging lower, official data showed.

Heading south, Brazilian steelmaker Usiminas announced its decision to resume the blast furnace No.1 in its Ipatinga mill. BNamericas was told by founder and chief analyst at research firm Upside Investor, Pedro Galdi, that the move is directly related to expectations of a pick-up in economic growth.

Another Brazilian steelmaker, Gerdau, saw a 'positive surprise' coming from the US; Credit Suisse affirmed that higher rates imposed by the US department of commerce on steel imports to the country could lead to a recovery in margins in Gerdau's North America division.

Fellow steel producer CSN said it missed the regulatory deadline to report its Q1 earnings release pending an accounting review, and presented partial, unaudited results.

Brazil also reported growing crude steel output in the first four months.

Argentina also reported increased steel production figures, year-on-year, for the period, even though numbers were slightly lower than in March.

In Chile, 11 of 14 experts surveyed by the country's copper commission Cochilco expects the copper market to be in deficit this year - averaging US$2.60/lb in 2017.

And in Peru, metals exports gained in Q1 on prices and shipments, with copper, gold, zinc, tin, iron ore and molybdenum all rising in the first quarter as miners tapped surging metals prices.