This Morning in Metals: Is China at ‘Peak Steel’?

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This morning in metals news, steel production in China could be at a peak, Tesla missed its Model 3 weekly production target and U.S. steel capacity utilization hit 79.2% last week.

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Steel Peak

According to a Bloomberg report, China is at peak steel this year, with a decline in production forecasted for next year.

The report cites studies by the Australian government, the world’s top iron ore producer.

Hitting the Brakes

Tesla has missed its weekly production target for its Model 3, Reuters reported, and cited tariffs for its struggles in the Chinese market.

However, the maker of electric vehicles produced 80,000 vehicles in Q3, according to the report.

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Capacity Utilization Rate Hits 79.2%

The U.S. steel capacity utilization rate hit 79.2% for the week ending Sept. 29, according to an American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) report.

Year-to-date production is up 4.5% compared with the same time frame in 2017.

MetalMiner’s Take: U.S. steel capacity utilization rate seems to be increasing, reaching 79.2% at the end of September.

In 2017, capacity utilization rate for the same week was 73.4%. An increasing capacity utilization rate is driving lower steel imports in the U.S., which fell 1% from July to August.

Higher domestic production may move domestic steel prices lower. Supply concerns are easing; however, the potential ArcelorMittal disruption could create uncertainty again and move domestic steel prices higher.

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