Industrial Production, Capacity Utilization for Construction Down; Scrap Prices Up

The US Federal Reserve released industrial production and capacity utilization figures for the month of July, and industrial production overall increased 0.6 percent. Capacity utilization for total industry moved up 0.4 of a percentage point to 79.3 percent.

The output of construction supplies, however, suffered a loss of 0.5 percent, the fourth month of losses out of the last five. Construction supplies’ output index stood at 79.5, closing under 80 (on an index value scale of 100) for the second straight month.

Source: US Federal Reserve

This reflects the still-ailing health of the US construction sector, which was brought into light by MetalMiner’s monthly Construction MMI® for August — the index dropped 4.4% to a value of 87.

However, there are some positive signs from the weekly construction metals index.

The week’s biggest mover on the weekly Construction MMI® was the price of US shredded scrap, which saw a 12.3 percent increase. This week marked the third in a row of rising prices for the metal.

The Chinese low price of 62% Australian iron ore fines fell 2.6 percent over the past week. This was the third week in a row of declining iron ore prices. The price of Chinese H-beam steel fell 1.1 percent over the past week, also the third week in a row of declining H-beam prices. Chinese rebar remained essentially flat from the previous week.

At just north of $2,200 per metric ton, the price of Chinese aluminum bar did not change since the previous week. Prices for European 1050 aluminum remained constant as well.

Closing out the third week of rising prices, the weekly US Rocky Mountain bar fuel surcharge increased by 5.6 percent, and the weekly US Gulf Coast bar fuel surcharge increased 4.4 percent this week, closing out the fourth consecutive week of rising fuel surcharge prices.

Also finishing the fourth week of rising prices, the weekly US Midwest bar fuel surcharge increased by 4.1 percent.

The Construction MMI® collects and weights 9 metal price points used within the construction industry to provide a unique view into construction industry price trends. For more information on the Construction MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.

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