This Morning in Metals: Labor productivity declines in wide range of manufacturing industries in 2019

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This morning in metals news, productivity was down for a number of manufacturing industries last year, BHP has executed its first blockchain iron ore trade with China’s Baosteel and copper prices continue to surge.

Manufacturing productivity falls in 2019

According to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, labor productivity declined in 54 of the 86 four-digit NAICS industries.

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“Of the 51 industries in durable manufacturing, 31 had productivity decreases in 2019 led by a 7.8 percent decline in the productivity of the HVAC and commercial refrigeration equipment industry,” the BLS reported. “Nondurable manufacturing also had widespread declines in 2019 with productivity falling in 23 of 35 industries, led by a 13.1-percent decline in the other leather products industry. All four industries in the mining sector posted productivity declines in 2019 led by the coal mining industry with a decrease of 6.6 percent.”

BHP completes blockchain ore trade

Miner BHP recently completed its first iron ore trade via blockchain with Chinese firm Baosteel, Reuters reported.

According to the report, the transaction was worth approximately $14 million.

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Copper prices continue to rise

Copper prices have continued to ride a hot streak amid a tentative recovery in top consumer China.

The LME three-month copper price is up 12% over the last month alone, closing last week at $5,984/mt.

In late March, copper reached a 2020 low of just over $4,620/mt.

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