This Morning in Metals: U.S. Steel Capacity Utilization Rate Falls to 80.8%

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This morning in metals news, the U.S. steel industry’s steel capacity utilization rate for the year through Aug. 31 fell to 80.8%, copper bounced back from a two-year low and China’s vice premier made a call for a “deeper mutual understanding” between the U.S. and China.

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Capacity Utilization Drops

After reporting a year-to-date capacity utilization rate of 81.0% for the year through Aug. 24, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported a rate of 80.8% for the year through Aug. 31.

For the week ending Aug. 31, capacity utilization fell below the important 80% mark, checking in at 79.5%. Production in the week totaled 1.85 million tons, down 0.6% compared with production during the same week in 2018.

Copper Rallies

After reaching a two-year low, copper prices bounced back Wednesday, Reuters reported.

Three-month LME copper ticked up 0.5% to $5,637 per ton, according to Reuters.

Liu Asks for ‘Deeper Mutual Understanding’ in U.S.-China Talks

Just days after the latest tariff exchange between the U.S. and China, China’s top trade negotiator looked to ease tensions.

On Sept. 1, new U.S. tariffs covering $110 billion in Chinese goods went into effect, while $75 billion in tariffs in the other direction also went into effect.

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China’s Vice Premier Liu He said the countries must reach a “deeper mutual understanding,” the South China Morning Post reported.

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