This Morning in Metals: US industrial production up 0.9% in January

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industrial production

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This morning in metals news: US industrial production picked up in January; global aluminum output also rose in January; and, lastly, General Motors reported a milestone in the construction of a new battery cell manufacturing plant in northeast Ohio.

US industrial production rises

US industrial production rose by 0.9% in January, the Federal Reserve reported.

Furthermore, manufacturing output rose by 1.0%. Meanwhile, mining output picked up by 2.3%.

Industrial sector capacity utilization reached 75.6%, up by 0.7 percentage point. The rate, however, is down 4.0% from the long-run average from 1972-2020.

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Aluminum output picks up

Global aluminum production totaled 5.71 million tons in January, the International Aluminum Institute reported this week.

Furthermore, the total marked an increase from 5.47 million tons in January 2020.

Meanwhile, China’s output reached an estimated 3.3 million tons, up from 3.09 million tons in January 2020.

Elsewhere, production in Western Europe reached 285,000 tons, up from 284,000 tons. In addition, Eastern and Central European production fell by 3,000 tons to 353,000 tons.

After trending sideways to down in January, the aluminum price has picked back up this month, as the LME three-month aluminum price closed Monday at $2,161 per metric ton, or up 9.39% from a month ago.

General Motors hails battery cell plant milestone

Ultium Cells LLC is a joint venture of General Motors and South Korea’s LG Chem.

The joint venture will produce Ultium battery cells at a new 2.8-million-square-foot facility in Lordstown, Ohio. General Motors reported ironworkers at the construction site installed the final beam at the site.

“Ultium Cells, a joint venture between General Motors and LG Chem, will mass-produce Ultium battery cells at the facility to advance the push for a zero-emissions, all-electric future,” GM said Feb. 19. “GM and LG Chem are investing $2.3 billion in the facility to support EV manufacturing in the U.S., and in turn, local jobs, education, career training and infrastructure.”

In addition, GM said the plant is slated for completion in 2022.

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