This Morning in Metals: U.S. steel capacity utilization rate rises to 65.1%

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This morning in metals news: U.S. steel capacity utilization reached 65.1% for the week ending Sept. 12, the World Trade Organization released a report covering the U.S.’s Section 301 tariffs on Chinese goods; and the copper price approached a two-year high.

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U.S. steel capacity utilization rises to 65.1%

The U.S. steel sector’s capacity utilization rate reached 65.1% for the week ending Sept. 12, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported.

Production during the week totaled 1.46 million net tons, down 19% year over year but up 2.2% from the previous week. Capacity utilization for the week ending Sept. 5 reached 63.7%.

However, production for the same week in 2019 reached 1.80 million net tons.

WTO releases report on U.S.’s China tariffs

The WTO this week released a report of its findings related to the U.S.’s Section 301 tariffs on Chinese goods, which amounted to hundreds of billions of dollars.

The report comes more than two years after China requested consultations — in April 2018 — related to the U.S. tariffs.

Among the WTO panel’s findings, the panel noted the dispute process seemed to move forward outside of the construct of WTO panel proceedings.

“The Panel recognized that an ongoing bilateral process was taking place between China and the United States,” the panel’s findings noted. “However, the Panel observed that this bilateral process seemed to be parallel to the panel proceedings, and not intended, by China at least, to replace them.”

Copper approaches two-year high

Meanwhile, the copper price is approaching a two-year high, Reuters reported.

LME copper inched up 0.1% to reach $6,800.50/mt, according to the report.

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