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|WEEKLY: China’s steel scrap price up 0.5% on better sales
Mysteel’s national steel scrap price index continued to strengthen, up Yuan 11.2/tonne ($1.6/t) or 0.44% on week to Yuan 2,544.7/t ($368/t) on delivery and including the 16% VAT as of October 12 mainly because of the moderate improvement in demand from the domestic steel mills, according to market sources on Tuesday.
“The domestic steel scrap prices firmed up further last week as demand from steel mills was on the rise especially from those electric-arc-furnace steel producers, as they have been affected little by Beijing’s call for restrictions for better air quality,” a Shanghai-based scrap analyst said, adding “steel scrap price may
|Exclusive: U.S. Steel workers set to get biggest pay raise in years - sources
CHICAGO (Reuters) - United States Steel Corp <X.N> workers are set to get the biggest wage jump in at least six years under a new deal negotiated with the company, providing early signs that gains from U.S. President Donald Trump's clampdown on foreign imports are finally trickling down. The agreement, reached on Monday, proposes a cumulative 14 percent wage increase over a four-year period, three sources familiar with details of the negotiations told Reuters on Tuesday.
Wages were frozen in the last contract, which ended on Sept. 1, as the Pittsburgh-based company was suffering losses from a slump in the domestic steel prices. The 2012-2015 agreement raised wages by an average of about 1.5 percent per year over three years, according to the workers' union. Trump's restrictive trade policy, coupled with a strong economy, has sent domestic steel prices soaring, helping U.S. Steel post a near 60 percent increase in pretax profits in the June quarter.
The deal, which needs to be ratified by 16,000 workers across the country, comes days after U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross called steelmakers to share the profits from high steel prices with their workers.
It comes at a time when U.S. wages are growing at the fastest pace in more than nine years.
The new contract also proposes a lump sum bonus and a share in the company's profits, the sources said on condition of anonymity to discuss the confidential deal. The workers will retain healthcare benefits from the last contract, which did not require them to pay a premium.
A company spokeswoman did not respond when asked to comment on the deal, whose details have not been made public.
The United Steelworkers (USW) union, which represents U.S. Steel workers, began negotiating a new contract in July. But the company's push to pass along some of the healthcare costs led to a standoff. Scott Cranor, a union official in Gary, Indiana, said on Monday that higher healthcare costs would have effectively wiped out any pay increases proposed by the company. He said affordable healthcare and no premiums were among the reasons why workers preferred to work at U.S. Steel despite lower wages.
"We have an excellent benefit package," Cranor said in an interview at his office, hours before both the parties reached a tentative deal. "That's why we have settled for lesser wage."
While the import curbs have helped turn around U.S. Steel's fortunes, they have not resolved the company's competitive problems. The company's operating profit margin is below the industry average. And its revenue per employee pales in comparison with that of rival steelmaker Nucor Corp <NUE.N>. Financial markets worry that U.S. Steel's plans to spend $2 billion through 2020 to add capacity to meet increased demand could further delay any potential dividend or share buyback. The company has the lowest dividend yield among major rivals.
"Investors remain worried that because U.S. Steel is focussing on capex, shareholder returns remain on the backburner," said Seth Rosenfeld, a metals & mining analyst at Jefferies. The new deal could inflate its cost structure, piling pressure on the company's stock which has lost nearly 40 percent since March 1 when Trump decided to impose the metal tariffs. U.S. Steel's shares fell 1.2 percent on Tuesday to close at $27.63. Domestic steel prices have fallen about 10 percent since early June, raising concerns that prices have peaked.
Demand from the auto industry, the company's biggest customer, is also widely expected to slow down.
"The auto industry is dealing with lots of cost pressures because of trade wars, rising raw materials costs and declining sales volumes," said Rosenfeld.
"Therefore, we have a somewhat conservative outlook with regard to contract hikes in 2019."
(Reporting by Rajesh Kumar Singh; Editing by Richard Chang)
|METALS-Shanghai copper slips for 2nd day on lukewarm trade
BEIJING, Oct 17 (Reuters) - Shanghai copper extended losses into a second session on Wednesday, curbed by tepid spot trading amid increasing stockpiles at the futures exchange.
Stocks of cash-settled copper futures warrants in China increased for a fourth straight session on Tuesday, adding 2,887 tonnes to 58,230 tonnes, according data from the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE).
Open interest of the most active Shanghai copper futures, the number of outstanding contracts held by traders and a gauge of liquidity, fell to 165,308 lots on Wednesday, the lowest since Sept.4. One lot equals 5 tonnes.
“Demand from downstream users remains weak,” analysts from Huatai Futures said in a note, adding that an increase in refined copper imports and expansion of smelter capacity in China would also weigh on copper prices.
* Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange slid 0.4 percent to $6,210 a tonne by 0250 GMT, and the copper contract for November delivery on the ShFE dipped 0.6 percent to 50,190 yuan ($7,250.38) a tonne.
* TRADE: Chinese exporters are mostly confident they can weather a trade war with the United States, but worry about collateral damage it might cause throughout the global economy, according to a Reuters poll of participants at China’s largest trade fair.
* CHINA DEBT: Off-balance-sheet borrowings by Chinese local governments could be as high as 40 trillion yuan ($5.78 trillion) and amount to “a debt iceberg with titanic credit risks”, S&P Global Ratings said in a report on Tuesday.
* BHP: The world’s biggest miner, BHP, said on Wednesday its first-quarter iron ore production rose 8 percent on strong Chinese demand for high-grade ore, but cut its fiscal 2019 guidance for copper production, citing outages at key mines.
* COPPER PROJECT: Chile’s state copper miner, Codelco, has submitted an environmental impact assessment of its plans to overhaul its aging Salvador deposit that would sharply increase its production and extend its life by 40 years.
* COPPER TAX: Zambia’s proposed mining tax increases will hit mineral exploration and production in Africa’s second biggest copper producer, said companies involved in exploration.
* For the top stories in metals and other news, click or
* Asian equities got some much needed relief on Wednesday after upbeat U.S. earnings reports drove a rebound on Wall Street and helped restore a little confidence in emerging market stocks and currencies.
0830 UK Consumer prices Sep
0900 Euro Zone Construction output Aug
1230 U.S. Housing starts Sep
1230 U.S. Building permits Sep
1800 U.S. Federal Reserve releases minutes from its Sept. 25-26 policy meeting
Three month LME copper
Most active ShFE copper
Three month LME aluminium
Most active ShFE aluminium
Three month LME zinc
Most active ShFE zinc
Three month LME lead
Most active ShFE lead
Three month LME nickel
Most active ShFE nickel
Three month LME tin
Most active ShFE tin
ARBS ($1 = 6.9224 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Muyu Xu and Dominique Patton; editing by Richard Pullin and Subhranshu Sahu)
Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.17-10-2018 14:27
|Steel scrap moves up $10-$20/lt in early US October trading
Pittsburgh — Prime scrap moved up $20/lt and obsolete scrap moved up $10/lt in early trading around Detroit on Wednesday, while a bid/offer gap between steel mills and their ferrous scrap suppliers kept things at a standstill in most other regions.
Aggressive demand for prime scrap by one major mill group stoked supplier optimism. The major mill group was seeking prime scrap from remote areas via rail car on 60- and 90-day terms, rather than the typical one-month deals made in the US market.
"I believe the rest of the mills in our area will fall in line," one Midwest broker said of the up $20/lt move on primes and up $10/lt on obsolete grades. "Demand is not great here in October but mills are looking ahead, especially the flat-rolled mills, to a strong November-December and they are locking up prime on 90-day index deals."
Sources said that long-term demand for prime scrap is what allowed suppliers to achieve the up $20/lt move on primes for October delivery they had been seeking since last week.
"If there wasn't the activity with the 60- and 90-day deals, dealers wouldn't be as bold as they are about holding scrap," another source said. "I can see dealers getting entrenched and asking themselves 'why sell now when in a few more months I get more money for my scrap?'"
West of Detroit, deals were slower to develop and less bullish on reduced demand due to mill outages. One mill was resisting up $10/lt offers on obsolete scrap from suppliers late Wednesday.
The up $20/lt move on primes relative to the up $10/lt on shredded scrap surprised some suppliers, who believed it would be the other way around. The No. 1 busheling premium over shredded scrap is averaging around $50/lt already, the highest level since December 2017 and above the overall 2018 average of $36/lt.
Referring to a Midwest mill scrap buyer one supplier said: "He had to go up $20 on prime to be in the same game. On shred, because of inventory and good weather, I think he was able to get away with only up $10."
Stoked by a recovery in bulk scrap export prices, East Coast suppliers remain adamant they are expecting up $20/lt across the board on all grades.
Other Midwest and Southeast scrap suppliers on Wednesday were still hopeful to sell all October material at up $20/lt across the board.
"Early discussions are still up $10-$20 in our area," one Southeast supplier said. "I am not sure up $10 on shred and cuts buys much scrap, at least not in our area."
Another source who believed that shredded scrap would end up higher than up $10/lt outside Detroit said southern US mills "will not want to pay up $20/lt on primes. We'll see who wins."
--Nicholas Tolomeo, firstname.lastname@example.org
--Edited by Derek Sands, email@example.com 22:34
|SC orders Pak-EPA to shut down steel mills violating environmental laws
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA) to shut down all steel mills violating environmental laws.
“Operations of these steel units will remain closed until their owners follow all the environmental laws of the Pak-EPA,” a senior Ministry of Climate Change official told Dawn.
According to the official, the SC has also given owners of steel mills another week to deposit Rs5 million each until they install equipment to filter their emissions.
The official explained that following the court order the mills’ points of entry and exit will be sealed by the Pak-EPA.
In one of the hearings of cases regarding pollution by steel mills, the SC had added a financial penalty to the Rs5m security deposit for those mills that had not deposited the Rs5m on time. The court directed such mills to pay an 8pc mark-up that would go to the SC’s Diamer Bhasha and Mohmand Dam Fund.
The SC had also asked Human Rights Cell Director General Khalid Teepu Rana to submit a report, in collaboration with the Pak-EPA, on industrial units in the city.
The climate change official said the report was presented to the SC on Wednesday. The two monitoring departments also drew attention to the wasting of hundreds of thousands of gallons of water by steel mills every day that the government was not compensated for.
“The SC paid particular attention to this major concern that has surfaced, especially when it is taking the matter of the possible water crisis seriously,” the official said, adding that the SC has directed the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad to investigate how much water the mills are wasting.
Among the other recommendations in the report, the Pak-EPA has also asked steel mill owners to made information on emissions easier to access online.
The Pak-EPA has been drawing the SC’s attention towards increasing air pollution, and steel mills’ emissions in particular, for nearly 30 years. The court has finally taken a decision in favour of I-8, I-9 and I-10 residents, as well as those from nearby Rawalpindi, who had been breathing poisonous air for years.
According to environmentalists in the climate change ministry, Islamabad owes its high air pollution to industrial units in I-9 and I-10, such as marble factories and steel mills, mega-development projects and other factors.
Inhaling particulate pollution – mixtures of solid and liquid particles that circulate in the air – emitted by these units can increase risks of lung cancer, cardiac arrest and stroke, as well as emergency room visits for people with asthma and heart problems.
Published in Dawn, October 4th, 201804-10-2018 22:01
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