This Morning in Metals: U.S. steel capacity utilization rate rises to 67.9%

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Steel production

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This morning in metals news: the U.S. steel sector’s capacity utilization rate for the week ending Oct. 10 reached 67.9%; copper prices dropped Tuesday; and global liquid fuel outages increased in 2020, according to the Energy Information Administration.

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Steel sector capacity utilization rate reaches 67.9%

The U.S. steel sector’s capacity utilization rate rose to 67.9% for the week ending Oct. 10, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported.

The rate increased from 66.6% the previous week but declined from the 78% posted during the same week in 2019.

Meanwhile, steel output for the week ending Oct. 10 totaled 1.50 million net tons, up 1.2% from the previous week. Output during the aforementioned week, however, declined 16.8% year over year.

Copper price falls

In addition to steel capacity utilization, the copper price slipped on Tuesday, Reuters reported.

LME three-month copper fell 0.5% on Tuesday to $6,705 per metric ton, according to Reuters.

Liquid fuel outages rise in 2020

Finally, according to the Energy Information Administration, the number of liquid fuel outages has increased in 2020.

“So far in 2020, monthly oil supply disruptions have averaged 4.6 million barrels per day (b/d) and reached 5.2 million b/d in June, the highest monthly levels since at least 2011, when the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) began tracking monthly liquids production outages,” the EIA reported. “Global oil supply disruptions averaged 3.1 million b/d in 2019, and rising outages in Iran have been the main drivers of the year-on-year increase.”

Furthermore, Libya, Iran and Venezuela were the primary contributors to the outages, the EIA reported.

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