Metals Outlook – ISM Jan 2013

January 2013 Manufacturing ISM Report On Business – 50.7% Indicating an Expanding Market

We at Metals Outlook and All Metals & Forge Group are very keen to watch this all important index of business activity on a month to month basis. The index number comes out at about approx 10:00 am the first working day of the new month. When reporting over 50.0, the index indicates an expanding manufacturing economy. An index number below 50.0 indicates a contracting manufacturing economy. We watch for the release of this important information and release this to our subscribers within minutes of the release, so that you hear it here first!

The December 2012 ISM index number is 50.7%, up 1.2 percentage points from last month. Click here to read the entire ISM Sept Report

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U.S. Trade Opportunities Ramp Up in India, Asia

11/12/2012 Industry Week
While Canada, Mexico and China will remain the top three export destinations for U.S. companies, India is the fastest growing market for U.S. exports, according to a new international trade survey.

Exports to Canada represent close to 20% of total U.S. merchandise exports, according to HSBC Commercial Banking, and will remain the U.S.’s largest trading partner through 2030. HSBC, which produced its new trade forecast report in association with Oxford Economics, says Mexico and China will also retain their respective top three positions. But Brazil will replace the United Kingdom and India will replace Germany as the fourth and fifth largest trading partners, the bank predicts.

Honda Exports from US Hit 1 Million Vehicles

12/5/2012 Industry Week
As Honda works to become a net exporters of automobiles from North America within the next two years, the company announced on Wednesday that exports from its U.S. plants reached 1 million vehicles.

The one millionth vehicle — a silver 2013 Honda Accord EX-L sedan — rolled off the line at the automaker’s plant in Marysville, California and will be shipped to South Korea.

The milestone comes 30 years after Honda became the first Japanese automaker to build a manufacturing plant in the United States.

China Says US Overtakes EU as its Top Export Market

11/20/2012 Industry Week
China said Tuesday that the United States has overtaken the European Union as its biggest export market, as the continent’s debt crisis has sent demand slumping.

“The biggest is the U.S. and the EU is second,” Commerce Ministry spokesman Shen Danyang told reporters at a regular briefing, without saying when the reversal occurred. “The EU used to be the biggest,” he added.

Mori Seiki Opens First U.S. Manufacturing Operation

11/23/2012 American Machinist
The first North American manufacturing plant for the DMG / Mori Seiki partnership is in operation now in Davis, Calif., less than two years after the project was revealed. In a ribbon-cutting message recently, Mori Seiki Co. Ltd. president Dr. Masahiko Mori described the opening as an indicator of the machine tool builder’s continuing prosperity and its expanding role as a collaborator for U.S. manufacturers.

General Dynamics, Huntington Win for Nuclear Sub Contracts

12/27/2012 American Machinist
The U.S. Navy is moving forward with plans for a new class of nuclear submarines and has issued a five-year contract worth up to $1.99 billion to General Dynamics Corp. for research and development work. The value of the cost-plus, fixed-fee contract is based on numerous incentives and options.

The contract covers design costs for a new submarine and continuing design work for a new common missile compartment for nuclear submarines – a project begun by the Navy with Electric Boat in 2008.
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Alcoa, Siemens Ink Long-Term Contract for Turbine Components

12/21/2012 American Machinist
Alcoa Inc. has secured a long-term contract to supply investment-cast turbine blades and vanes to Siemens Energy for its F-Class industrial gas turbines. Specific terms of the arrangement were not revealed, but the production will be done at Alcoa Power and Propulsion operations in the U.S. and Europe.

APP is a business unit of Alcoa Inc. that produces airfoil and structural investment castings for aerospace engines and industrial gas turbines. Other capabilities include hot isostatic pressing, high-temperature coating, titanium ingot casting, and specialty investment casting materials. Among its 25 investment casting foundries, specialty machine shops, and other plants worldwide, APP produces IGT investment castings at Dover, N.J., Hampton, Va., and LaPorte, Ind. Ceramic cores for investment castings are produced at Morristown, TN.

Durable Goods Orders Edged Higher in November

12/21/2012 Shop Floor
The Census Bureau reported that durable goods orders were up 0.7 percent in November, edging slightly higher for the third straight month. Even with these increases, however, it is important to note that the pace of new orders remains below its peak in July, when durable goods sales were $228.6 billion. In November, this level was $220.9, representing a 3.3 percent decline. This puts a slightly different spin on the otherwise positive news, as it shows how activity has been more sluggish in the second half of 2012 for durable goods industries than earlier in the year.

Regarding November’s figures, improvements were fairly broad-based outside of the transportation sector. New orders in transportation were down 1.1 percent, with steep declines in aerospace sales (defense down 12.3 percent, nondefense down 13.9 percent). Motor vehicle orders were up 3.5 percent.

Excluding transportation, new durable goods orders would have risen 1.6 percent. Behind these gains were higher new orders in the following sectors: machinery (up 3.3 percent), computers (up 3.1 percent), primary metals (up 2.4 percent), fabricated metal products (up 1.9 percent), electrical equipment and appliances (up 1.8 percent), and communications equipment (up 0.9 percent).

Turkey’s Leading Pipe Manufacturer To Build $150MM Production Facility In US

Reuters reported that Borusan Mannesmann, Turkey’s leading steel pipe manufacturer, will invest USD 150 million in building a production facility in the United States.

The company in a statement with the Istanbul Stock Exchange said that the facility, which is seen starting operation in the H2 of 2014, is expected to yield an annual revenue of USD 500 million to USD 600 million depending on steel prices.

Shale-Gas Revolution Spurs Wave of New U.S. Steel Plants

12/31/2012 Bloomberg
The U.S. shale-gas revolution, which has revitalized chemicals companies and prompted talk of domestic energy self-sufficiency, is attracting a wave of investment that may revive profits in the steel industry.

Austrian steelmaker Voestalpine AG said Dec. 19 it may construct a 500 million-euro ($661 million) factory in the U.S. to benefit from cheap gas. Nucor Corp. the most valuable U.S. steelmaker, plans to start up a $750 million Louisiana project in mid-2013. They’re among at least five U.S. plants under consideration or being built that would use gas instead of coal to purify iron ore, the main ingredient in steel.

“That technology has been around 30 years, but for 29 years gas prices in the U.S. were so high that the technology was not economical,” said Michelle Applebaum, managing partner at consulting firm Steel Market Intelligence in Chicago. “This is how steel will be built moving forward.”

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