This Morning in Metals: Steel Capacity Utilization Rate Reaches 81.9%

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This morning in metals news, the U.S. steel sector’s capacity utilization rate for the year through April 6 reached 81.9%, the zinc price fell on easing supply concerns and miner Glencore is becoming a bigger and bigger player in the copper market.

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Steel Capacity Utilization Update

The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) released its weekly production report Monday, showing the sector’s capacity utilization rate for the year through April 6 had reached 81.9%.

Production during that time by volume reached 26.1 million tons, up 6.8% from the 24.5 million tons produced during the same time frame in 2018.

Meanwhile, for the week ending April 6, domestic raw steel production hit 1.9 million net tons at a capacity utilization rate of 82.8%, up from 1.8 million net tons and 76.3% for the same week in 2018. 

Zinc Price Dips

The price of zinc fell Tuesday based on the prospect of increased supplies of the metal, Reuters reported.

The LME zinc price dropped 1.6% to $2,860.50 per ton Tuesday, according to the report.

Glencore Ramps up Copper Buying

Copper is predicted by many to see a continued rise in demand as the world makes the move over to electric vehicles (EV).

One firm looking to snap up as much copper as it can is miner Glencore.

According to a Bloomberg analysis, Glencore was Chilean copper miner Codelco’s No. 1 customer in 2018.

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Illustrative of the miner’s increased emphasis on copper, the report notes Glencore did not even make the top 10 list of Codelco copper customers as of five years ago.

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