This morning in metals news, U.S. steel mills’ capacity utilization rate inched up this past week, India’s steel sector looks to the government for protection from diverted steel, and the Office of the United States Representative (USTR) released its annual report on the WTO compliance of China and Russia.
Steel Utilization Rate Hits 80.5%
Steel mills in the U.S. have operated at a capacity utilization rate of 80.5% through Feb. 2, according to this week’s report by the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI).
Adjusted year-to-date production reached 8.95 million tons. Meanwhile, for the same period in 2017, steel mills produced 8.12 million tons at a 73.8% capacity utilization rate.
India’s Steel Sector Leery of Diverted Steel
According to a Reuters report, the Indian steel sector is looking for assistance from the Indian government via import duties to ward off diverted steel supplies.
Recently, the E.U.’s member states voted to impose new steel safeguards that will remain in place as late as July 2021. The move came as European producers worried steel supplies that would have been destined for the U.S. would be diverted elsewhere following the Trump administration’s Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum.
As for India, according to the Reuters report, Indian steelmakers have complained to the government that China, Japan, South Korea and Vietnam are allegedly dumping cheap steel in India, eating into domestic producers’ market share.
USTR Release Report on China, WTO Compliance
Pursuant to the U.S.-China Relations Act of 2000 — by which the USTR must present an annual report to Congress on China’s compliance with WTO rules and regulations — the USTR released its 17th report vis-a-vis China.
“The United States’ approach to China is more aggressive than in the past,” the report’s executive summary states. “Out of necessity, the United States is now using all available tools – including domestic trade remedies, bilateral negotiations, WTO litigation and strategic engagement with like-minded trading partners – to respond to the unique and very serious challenges presented by China. But the goal for the United States remains the same. The United States seeks a trade relationship with China that is fair, reciprocal and balanced.”
The full report is available here.