1) With the worldwide push for green energy surging, the lithium-ion battery market is projected to hit $1 trillion dollars globally by just 2026. Lithium-ion batteries have been powering smaller devices for years such as smartphones and power tools, but have become paramount in every major electric vehicle, as well as many medical devices. But at this point, about 80% of all lithium-ion cell production is coming out of China. That’s why the EU is pouring in stimulus money for businesses trying to attain energy independence in the lithium powered age of technology. Producing lithium-ion batteries is needed to store renewable energy and power EVs. The rush is on to find new sources to mine high grade lithium as battery prices are climbing.
2) U.S. Steel Corp. has purchased the flat-rolled sheet patents and trademarks for advanced, high-strength steel made by The NanoSteel Co. Inc. of Providence, R.I. These patented proprietary alloys have a nanoscale microstructure, which creates a unique combination of extreme strength and the enhanced formability normally only found in low-strength mild steels. This means the NanoSteel grades can be rolled thinner than other high-strength grades and are designed for automotive and heavy industrial applications where higher strength-to-weight ratios are needed. U.S. Steel reported a loss of $1.2 billion in 2020 but predicted better things for 2021. Earlier this year, the company purchase of an ultramodern mini-mill in Arkansas.
3) The South Dakota Farmers Union is asking their lawmakers to stop the merging of the Department of Agriculture with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). The South Dakota governor passed an executive order last year merging the two departments to streamline state government. The farmers content the state’s agriculture industry depends upon the Department of Agriculture remaining a stand-alone agency to best serve the many South Dakota family farmers and ranchers. They consider that invariably there will be conflicts on land use, water issues, or air quality that will involve modern agriculture. There are fears that without a check and balance, technical issues in the agriculture industry will not be fairly resolved, but rather by political influence.
4) Stock market closings for – 8 MAR 21:
Dow 31,802.44 up by 306.14
Nasdaq 12,609.16 down by 310.99
S&P 500 3,821.35 down by 20.59
10 Year Yield: up at 1.60%
Oil: down at $64.93