US Manufacturing Contracts; China’s Raw Ore, Coal Imports Stay High

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U.S. Manufacturing contracted in August while China’s imports of iron ore and coal maintained their high July levels.

Manufacturing Contracts in August

U.S. manufacturing contracted last month for the first time since February, as new orders and output plummeted and factories cut jobs.

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The Institute for Supply Management said Thursday that its manufacturing index dropped to 49.4 in August from 52.6 in July. Any reading below 50 signals contraction.

Chinese Ore, Coal Imports Maintain

China’s imports of iron ore and coal remained robust in August, providing a fundamental justification for the ongoing resilience in the price of the two major bulk commodities.

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Although there are several more factors driving prices than China demand, it’s also worth noting that crude oil imports likely slipped back somewhat in August, coinciding with a retreat in the price of global benchmark Brent crude.

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