This morning in metals news, new orders for manufactured durable goods increased in December, Lake Michigan steel mills have struggled with a variety of operational challenges and the Chinese government has continued efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
New orders for manufactured durables goods rise 2.4%
According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent data release, new orders for manufactured durable goods reached $245.5 billion in December, up 2.4% from the previous month.
The increase came after a 3.1% decline in November.
New orders for transportation equipment paced the December increase, posting a 7.6% increase to $82.9 billion.
Lake Michigan steel mills face operational setbacks
The Times of Northwest Indiana outlined some of the struggles steel mills along the Lake Michigan shoreline have faced in recent months.
Gary Works flooded before Thanksgiving, while an explosion resulted in damage at ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor.
Tangshan puts pause on public bus service
Tangshan, China’s biggest steelmaking hub, has ordered its buses off the road amid government efforts aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus, Bloomberg reported.
The measure, as the report notes, could make it more difficult for workers to get to work and generally tamp down steel demand, which would result in falling prices; however, it remains to be seen how widespread the coronavirus’ impact will be.
According to the BBC, the coronavirus death toll has reached 106.