This Morning in Metals: U.S.’s July 2020 steel shipments down 25.6%

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This morning in metals news: July steel shipments fell by 25.6%; Nucor announced its 190th consecutive quarterly dividend; and the Energy Information Administration released its September Short-Term Energy Outlook.

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July 2020 steel shipments fall

According to the American Iron and Steel Institute, U.S. steel shipments in July fell 25.6% year over year.

U.S. steel mills shipped 6.04 million net tons during the month, a 0.2% increase from the previous month. The July total marked a 25.6% decrease from July 2019, when U.S. mills shipped 8.12 million net tons.

For the year to date, shipments totaled 47.25 million net tons, down 16.1% from the same period in 2019.

Nucor announces quarterly dividend

Charlotte-based Nucor Corporation this week announced its 190th consecutive quarterly cash dividend.

The company announced a dividend of $0.4025 per share on Nucor’s common stock.

However, earlier this year steelmaker ArcelorMittal announced it would suspend dividend payments.

“Against the backdrop of significant cost savings measures being taken across the business, the Board determined it both appropriate and prudent to suspend dividend payments until such a time as the operating environment normalizes,” the company said in its quarterly earnings release earlier this year.

EIA releases Short-Term Energy Outlook

Earlier this week, the EIA released its September Short-Term Energy Outlook.

“Reduced economic activity related to the COVID-19 pandemic has caused changes in energy demand and supply patterns in 2020,” the report states. “This STEO assumes U.S. gross domestic product declined by 4.6% in the first half of 2020 from the same period a year ago and will rise beginning in the third quarter of 2020, with year-over-year growth of 3.1% in 2021.”

The Brent crude oil spot price reached an average of $45 per barrel in August, according to the EIA, up $2 per barrel from July.

The bump in the price comes on the heels of a significant decline in new inventories.

Per the EIA, global liquid fuels inventories rose by 7.2 million barrels per day in the second quarter. Meanwhile, inventories rose by 3.7 million barrels per day in the third quarter.

Consumption, on the other hand, declined in August compared with 2019 levels.

Per the EIA, global consumption of petroleum and liquid fuels reached 94.3 million barrels per day in August. The August total marked a decline of 8.2 million barrels per day from August 2019 consumption.

Still, consumption has recovered somewhat in recent months. For example, August consumption increased from the 93.3 million barrels per day consumed in July, the EIA reported.

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