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Happy Friday, MetalMiner readers! Here’s a look back at this week’s top stories.

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  • A number of aluminum associations around the world wrote a joint letter urging G20 leaders to hold a forum on global aluminum overcapacity at this year’s G20 Summit, scheduled to take place from Nov. 30 to Dec. 1 in Buenos Aires.
  • After a steady downward trend, LME aluminum prices recovered, rising more than 13% in a week.
  • The U.S. International Trade Commission will advise the U.S. Trade Representative on proposed modifications to the U.S. Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS).
  • The EU is demanding compensation at the WTO for the U.S.’s Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum, arguing that the tariffs were imposed to protect U.S. industry. What is behind the U.S.’s national security argument?
  • Irene Martinez Canorea’s mid-month metals analysis shows aluminum as April’s top performer so far. Prices for copper and nickel have also risen, while other base metals have fallen.
  • U.S. and India have announced a joint task force on natural gas.

MetalMiner’s Annual Outlook provides 2018 buying strategies for carbon steel

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This morning in metals news, there has been a flood of applications from U.S. companies for exemptions from the Section 232 tariffs. Nickel prices reached a three-year high, stoked by fears of more sanctions, and Alcoa shares jumped in after-hours trade following rosy Q1 results.

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Applications for Tariff Waivers Surge

The U.S. Department of Commerce is being inundated with applications from American companies requesting waivers from the Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum, the Washington Post reported. As of last week, there have been more than 1,200 applications for exemptions from the steel tariffs and 125 applications regarding aluminum tariffs.

Kevin Dempsey, general counsel at the American Iron and Steel Institute, told the Post that he anticipates “several thousand exclusion requests” to be filed.

Nickel Price Reaches 3-Year High

Speculations that Russian nickel producer Norilsk Nickel will be added to U.S. sanctions have helped nickel prices reach their highest levels since 2014, according to MarketWatch.

Nickel prices rose to $15,875 per ton on Tuesday. This jump in nickel prices by more than 10% is also the biggest one-day move for the metal since 2008. (more…)