US OCTG imports fell in 2023, line pipe up slightly

  • Spanish Market: Metals, Pipe and tube
  • 14/02/24

US imports of oil country tubular goods (OCTG) fell in 2023 while line pipe imports rose slightly.

  • OCTG imports fell by 8.2pc year-over-year but are still at the second-highest level in at least the last four years, according to data from the US Department of Commerce.
  • Taiwan led the overall OCTG volume declines, down by 85,500t year over year, followed by a 70,800t drop from Mexico. Imports from Thailand more than doubled, increasing by 95,400t, while Canadian imports rose by 83,100t.
  • Line pipe imports edged up by 0.3pc or more than 3,000 metric tonnes (t) from their 2022 levels and are up by 47pc compared with 2021 volumes.
  • Turkey boosted its line pipe volumes into the US by 23,300t, nearly tripling its prior-year total, while Brazil more than doubled its volumes, increasing them by 22,400t.
  • Structural pipe imports increased by 2.2pc in 2023 to 425,600t, a 9,300t increase.
  • Mechanical pipe imports fell by 2.6pc to 613,400t, a 16,300t decline.

US pipe and tube importsmetric tonnes
Product20232022Difference±%
OCTG2,215,0802,412,983-197,903-8.2%
Line pipe1,027,7341,024,3713,3630.3%
Standard756,060827,491-71,431-8.6%
Heavy Structural Shapes686,668723,676-37,008-5.1%

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21/06/24

Pilbara Minerals eyes more Pilgangoora lithium output

Pilbara Minerals eyes more Pilgangoora lithium output

Singapore, 21 June (Argus) — Australian mining firm Pilbara Minerals has started a feasibility study into raising spodumene production capacity at its Pilgangoora operations in Western Australia. The P2000 expansion project will more than double Pilgangoora's output capacity to over 2mn t/yr, the firm said today. Pilbara forecasts Pilgangoora's output to average around 1.9mn t/yr of 5.2pc grade spodumene in the first 10 years after the P2000 expansion is completed, with production starting from 2028, if it does go ahead. Pilbara estimates A$1.2bn ($798mn) of capital expenditure for the project, which includes building a new ore flotation plant but excludes the extra capital expenditure needed for the mine to support the expansion. The firm approached Australian federal government financing agencies for the project's funding, which it said provided non-binding letters of support for "up to A$400mn" after the initial engagement. "The timing of the P2000 Project will be subject to the successful outcome of the next level of feasibility study, project approvals and the market outlook at the time of the financial investment decision," said the firm. The feasibility study is expected to be completed in October-December 2025, but the firm remained cautious about assuring a final investment decision (FID). Any FID decision needs to come after the study outcome, said managing director and chief executive Dale Henderson. "That's more than a year away, which is frankly an eternity in the lithium industry." The P2000 project will come after the firm's P680 and P1000 projects, which Pilbara Minerals has decided to plough ahead with . The P680 and P1000 projects would raise Pilgangoora's output capacity to 1mn t/yr. The firm earlier this year defended its lithium downstream strategy and is exploring building a downstream conversion plant with Chinese refiner Ganfeng. By Joseph Ho Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Canadian greenwashing bill passes


20/06/24
20/06/24

Canadian greenwashing bill passes

Calgary, 20 June (Argus) — A proponent of a major carbon capture and storage (CCS) project in Canada removed most information from its website this week after a federal bill targeting "greenwashing" successfully made its way through Parliament. The Pathways Alliance, a group of six oil sands producers, removed material from its website in response to Bill C-59 after it passed its third and final reading in Canada's senate on 19 June, citing "uncertainty on how the new law will be interpreted and applied." Parts of the soon-to-be law will "create significant uncertainty for Canadian companies," according to a statement by Pathways which is the proponent of a massive C$16.5bn ($12bn) CCS project in Alberta's oil sands region. The Pathways companies proposed using the project and a host of other technologies to cut CO2 emissions by 10mn-22mn t/yr by 2030. Project details and projections are now gone from the Pathways website, social media and other public communications as the pending law will require companies to show proof when making representations about protecting, restoring or mitigating environmental, social and ecological causes or effects of climate change. Any claim "that is not based on adequate and proper substantiation in accordance with internationally recognized methodology" could result in penalties under the pending law. Offenders may face a maximum penalty of C$10mn for the first offense while subsequent offenses would be as much as C$15mn, or "triple the value of the benefit derived from the anti-competitive practice." Invite to 'resource-draining complaints' The bill does not single out oil and gas companies, but the industry includes the country's largest emitters and has long been in the cross-hairs of the liberal government. Alberta's premier Danielle Smith says the pending bill will have the unintended effect by stifling "many billions in investments in emissions technologies — the very technologies the world needs." Construction of the Pathways project is expected to begin as early as the fourth quarter 2025 with operations starting in 2029 or 2030. The main CO2 transportation pipeline will be 24-36-inches in diameter and stretch about 400km (249 miles). It will initially tap into 13 oil sands facilities from north of Fort McMurray to the Cold Lake region, where the CO2 will be stored underground. Pathways includes Canadian Natural Resources, Cenovus, Suncor, Imperial Oil, ConocoPhillips Canada and MEG Energy, which account for about 95pc of the province's roughly 3.3mn b/d of oil sands production. Some producers took down content as did industry lobby group the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), which highlighted the "significant" risk the legislation creates. "Buried deep into an omnibus bill and added at a late stage of committee review, these amendments have been put forward without consultation, clarity on guidelines, or the standards that must be met to achieve compliance," said CAPP president Lisa Baiton on Thursday. This "opens the floodgates for frivolous, resource-draining complaints." By Brett Holmes Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Liberty’s Dalzell plate mill suspends offers


20/06/24
20/06/24

Liberty’s Dalzell plate mill suspends offers

London, 20 June (Argus) — UK-based Liberty Steel has suspended offers for plate from its Dalzell mill in Scotland, market participants said today. The mill has been grappling with low margins, while the wider Liberty group has also been struggling, mothballing some mills and looking to sell others. "[Dalzell] is unable to purchase slabs at a competitive enough rate to allow them to continue operations," one source said. A source close to the company said the mill continues to produce and fulfil its order commitments. But several participants said it had suspended offers, suggesting it may not be taking new orders for fresh rollings. A Liberty Steel spokesperson declined to comment. Sluggish demand and high input costs have been weighing on plate re-rollers' profit margins across the European mainland as some Italian and northern European mills are reportedly producing around break-even levels . Competitive imports from Asia have also played a role in driving European offers down. Into the UK, Korean S275 plate was heard at £620-630/t ($785-798/t) cfr this week. "[These are] frightening prices. Not surprised that Liberty cannot compete at these levels," one participant commented. Liberty recently said it would enter creditor protection in the Czech Republic , and announced it would close the coke ovens at its Hungarian operation. It said in May it would look to sell or recapitalise its EU rolling lines . By Carlo Da Cas Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

EU proposed lithium toxic classification concerns ILiA


20/06/24
20/06/24

EU proposed lithium toxic classification concerns ILiA

London, 20 June (Argus) — The International Lithium Association (ILiA) has said it is "gravely concerned" about proposals made by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) regarding the potential classification of lithium products as toxic. ILiA has lobbied against the proposals privately for two years, but has now made its concerns public to ensure awareness of a potential problem for the development of a European lithium industry. ECHA's proposals would classify lithium carbonate, hydroxide and chloride as Toxic for Reproduction, Category 1a. Any resulting impact on the market could take up to two years to appear, leading to uncertainty for the nascent battery industry, ILiA told Argus . "In Europe, an incorrect classification which is too high would risk making EU member states less attractive compared to other countries for lithium mining and refining projects," an ILiA representative wrote in an article for the organisation's membership newsletter. "Opening a lithium mine, a lithium refinery or a battery production plant in the EU would be more burdensome, with additional safety measures and uncertainties on permitting." EU regulation is sometimes seen as the benchmark standard for the rest of the world, which means classification could impact other countries. But some countries disagree with the ECHA proposals, highlighted by a series of assessments and letters from Chile, Argentina, Australia, Canada and the UK, which ILiA provided to ECHA. "These opinions demonstrate that there is no global scientific agreement on the classification and that other countries might reach different conclusions… with possible repercussions on trade relations and access to lithium in Europe," an ILiA representative said. ILiA highlighted that some lithium projects in Europe have already been shelved for other reasons, with the US Inflation Reduction Act attracting investment away from the region and public protests halting lithium mines, as happened to UK-Australian firm Rio Tinto's Jadar project in Serbia. Having the capacity to refine lithium is "crucial" for recycling lithium and providing the materials needed to grow the European battery industry, ILiA said. By Thomas Kavanagh Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

India approves funding for offshore wind projects


20/06/24
20/06/24

India approves funding for offshore wind projects

Mumbai, 20 June (Argus) — India's federal government cabinet has approved viability gap funding (VGF) for the installation and commissioning of 1GW of offshore wind projects in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu states. India's plans for offshore wind energy will increase short-term demand for rare earth permanent magnets and minor metals such as chromium, cobalt, manganese and molybdenum. The cabinet on 19 June approved VGF of 68.53bn rupees ($820mn) for installation and commissioning of 500MW of offshore wind projects each off the coast of northwest India's Gujarat and southeast India's Tamil Nadu. It also approved a Rs6bn grant for upgrading two ports to meet the logistics requirements for developing the projects. The VGF scheme aims to support infrastructure projects that are economically justified but fall marginally short of financial viability. The funding support from the government reduces the cost of power from offshore wind projects and make them viable for purchase by electricity distribution companies. India's Ministry of New and Renewable Energy expects the commissioning of the 1GW wind projects to promote development of the offshore industry. It is targeting an initial 37GW of offshore wind power generation capacity with investment of about Rs4.5 trillion. Initial assessments by India's National Institute of Wind Energy for potential offshore zones for wind energy projects indicate the potential of 36GW of wind energy projects off Gujarat and about 35GW offshore Tamil Nadu. By Samil Surendran Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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