Metal Center News

JAN 2018

Metal Center services the metal center and toll processor industry.

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Association News November was 3.1 million tons, an in- crease of 7 percent. Russian production increased 1.4 percent to 6 million tons. CBFC Brass Mill Imports, Exports Up in October U.S. imports and exports of brass mill products showed year-over-year in- creases in October, reports the Copper and Brass Fabricators Council, Wash- ington. Imports totaled 41.2 million pounds during the month, a 7 percent increase from last year. Exports were relatively flat at 22.4 million pounds, up just 0.2 percent from last year. Through October, imports of brass mill products in 2017 totaled 414.2 mil- lion pounds, an increase of 8 percent over the first 10 months of 2016. Total exports were up 10 percent for the year at 223 million pounds. In October, Mexico was the lead- ing destination for U.S. exports of brass mill products at 9.5 million pounds, fol- lowed by Canada at 6.9 million pounds, China at 1.4 million pounds, Hong Kong at 614,265 pounds and Germany at 411,109 pounds. Imports from Germany totaled 10.2 million pounds in October, followed by Mexico at 4.7 million pounds, Canada at 3.8 million pounds, South Korea at 3.4 million pounds and China at 2.3 million pounds. I mports of all sheet, strip, plate and foil products totaled 15.2 million pounds, while exports totaled 9.3 mil- lion pounds. Imports of pipe and tube products totaled 13.6 million pounds, while exports of those products to- taled 3.5 million pounds. Imports of all profiles, rods and bars totaled 9.3 million pounds, while exports totaled 7.7 million pounds. CBSA Red Metal Shipments Fall in November Service center shipments of red met- al products declined 22.6 percent in No- vember compared with the same month in 2016, reports the Copper and Brass Servicenter Association, Overland Park, Kan. Total copper shipments in October were down 21.1 percent to 6.9 million pounds, while alloy shipments declined 24 percent to 6.7 million pounds. Year-to-date shipments of copper and alloy products remain ahead of 2016. Copper shipments are up 4.9 per- cent to 109.2 million pounds through 11 months, while alloy shipments are up 0.3 percent to 104.6 million pounds. www.metalcenternews.com Metal Center News — January 2018 ❘ 45 customer, but typically do not alter the chemical composition or physical prop- erties of the metal. Manufacturing involves control over the quality processes and proce- dures, and as a result, has the potential for significant product liability expo- sure. In an effort to effectively mitigate their risk, manufacturers have attempted to restrict product liability to the value of any defective goods and the product warranty to be time-bound as part of the conditions of sale. In parallel, the end users are attempt- ing to limit their risk despite having provided the specifications and often maintain approved manufacturer lists and require the goods provided to be fit for their purpose. Accordingly, they too have added a risk component to the con- ditions of purchase to include perpetual warranty time horizons and unlimited financial liability for repairs and busi- ness interruption. If distribution agreed to the terms and conditions of both the mill and customer, a claim can leave the service center in the middle of a difficult situation, taking on the largest risk in the supply chain and facing considerable fi- nancial hardship. Based on historical business practice and the supply and demand dynamics, end users may find service centers that are unaware of the risk or willing to as- sume the risk in fear of being disquali- fied as a supplier. This potentially cre- ates another set of dynamics if a claim of material quantum should arise. The service centers that do not have the fi- nancial wherewithal or carry sufficient insurance are the most likely to assume such liability. If the service center does not have the financial resources to settle the claim, the risk mitigation sought by the producer or the customer is of no value. They have lost a partner in the supply chain and the risk will now be borne by an even smaller group. Two of the most overused words in business today are "partnering" and "value proposition." With that disclaim- er, shouldn't we be looking to partner on terms and conditions on the front end in order to reach a reasonable assign- ment of risk for each party to assume? We need to understand each other's ability to fund, and balance risk with rewards as part of the entire supply chain. This approach is more time- consuming on the front end and is dif- ficult based on the transactional nature and multiple supply channels touched by service centers. Once achieved, con- tract renewals and the cost of dealing with any claims are simplified. Evalu- ating partners and establishing the risk responsibilities initially will prove pru- dent as all parties have truly evaluated the assumption of risk that benefits all of our stakeholders should a financially material claim arise. n Corner Office (continued from page 46)

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