This morning in metals news, the U.S. steel sector continues to outproduce 2018 levels, copper prices are around two-week highs and President Donald Trump took to Twitter to tout the impact of the U.S.’s tariffs on China’s economy.
Capacity Utilization Rate Reaches 81.1%
For the year through July 13, the U.S. steel sector notched a capacity utilization rate of 81.1%, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI).
That rate marks an increase from the 77.0% reached during the same period in 2018.
Steel production for the year through July 13 reached 52.3 million tons, up 5.2% from the 49.8 million tons during the same period last year.
Copper Near Two-Week High
After reaching a two-week high on Monday, copper prices were relatively unchanged Tuesday, Reuters reported.
Three-month LME copper was flat at $5,985 per ton, according to the report.
Trump Says Tariffs are Impacting China’s Economy
Amid a long-simmering trade conflict with the U.S., China this week reported its lowest quarterly growth level in at least 27 years, recording 6.2% growth in Q2 2019.
Despite a tenuous deescalation of trade tensions over the last month and the resumption of talks, a trade agreement between the world’s two largest economies remains in doubt.
On the heels of the Q2 growth report, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to hail the impact of U.S. tariffs on the Chinese economy.
“China’s 2nd Quarter growth is the slowest it has been in more than 27 years,” he said. “The United States Tariffs are having a major effect on companies wanting to leave China for non-tariffed countries. Thousands of companies are leaving. This is why China wants to make a deal […] with the U.S., and wishes it had not broken the original deal in the first place. In the meantime, we are receiving Billions of Dollars in Tariffs from China, with possibly much more to come. These Tariffs are paid for by China devaluing & pumping, not by the U.S. taxpayer!”
In May, the Trump upped the tariff rate on $200 billion in Chinese goods from 10% to 25%. The president has also threatened to impose tariffs on an additional $325 billion in Chinese goods, effectively subjecting nearly all U.S. imports from China to tariffs.