This Morning in Metals: Automotive retail sales forecast to gain for first time since February

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cars lined up

Steven Husk/Adobe Stock

This morning in metals news: U.S. automotive retails sales appear to be on the rise this month for the first time since February; U.S. steel imports are down 21%; and the zinc price has slipped nearly 4% over the past month.

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Automotive retail sales forecast to gain this month

According to a forecast released jointly by LMC Automotive and J.D. Power, U.S. new-vehicle retail sales this month are expected to rise on a year-over-year basis.

The increase marks the first gain since February, according to the forecast.

“Retail sales in September are poised to post the first year-over-year gain since February, a milestone in the recovery from the disruption that COVID-19 has had on the industry,” said Thomas King, president of the data and analytics division at J.D. Power.

Steel imports down 21%

U.S. steel imports this year through August fell 21% compared with the same time frame in 2019, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI).

Meanwhile, finished steel import market share reached an estimated 17% in August. For the first eight months of the year, import market share for finished steel reached 19%.

Zinc down 4%

The zinc price has retraced in recent weeks, falling 3.96% month over month.

The LME three-month zinc price closed Thursday at $2,391 per metric ton.

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