This Morning in Metals: US construction spending starts strong in January

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This morning in metals news: US construction spending picked up in January; meanwhile, the Federal Register published the text of President Joe Biden’s latest executive order; and, lastly, the copper price came back down to close last week.

US construction spending rises in January

US construction spending picked up to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,521.50 billion, the Census Bureau reported.

The spending rate marked an increase of 1.7% from the previous month and 5.8% from January 2020.

Private construction spending increased by 1.7% from the previous month.

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Federal Register publishes supply chain order

Last week, President Biden signed an executive order that seeks to review and strengthen several critical supply chains.

Today, the Federal Register published the full text of the executive order titled “America’s Supply Chains.”

The order calls for several 100-day reviews, with reports from the heads of the Departments of:  Commerce, Energy, Defense, and Health and Human Services.

“The Secretary of Defense (as the National Defense Stockpile Manager), in consultation with the heads of appropriate agencies, shall submit a report identifying risks in the supply chain for critical minerals and other identified strategic materials, including rare earth elements (as determined by the Secretary of Defense), and policy recommendations to address these risks,” the order said.

Copper pulls back

The copper price soared throughout most of February, continuing a strong run in the second half of 2020.

The LME three-month copper price reached a peak of $9,562 per metric ton last Thursday. However, the price dipped to end the week, closing at $9,120 per metric ton.

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