This Morning in Metals: Steel capacity utilization reaches 78.4%

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This morning in metals news: the US steel sector’s capacity utilization rate hit 78.4% last week; meanwhile, Ford announced plans to invest $300 million to build a new light commercial vehicle in Romania; and, lastly, the United States International Trade Commission held a five-year sunset review regarding imports of prestressed concrete steel wire strand from China.

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US steel capacity utilization reaches 78.4%

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The US steel sector reached a capacity utilization rate of 78.4% for the week ending April 24, the American Iron and Steel Institute reported.

Steel production during the week totaled 1.78 million net tons. The output total marked 43.6% year-over-year increase.

During the same week in 2020, steel capacity utilization had plummeted to just 55.4%.

Ford to build new light commercial vehicle, EV in Romania

Ford announced plans to invest $300 million to manufacture a new light commercial vehicle in 2023 in Romania.

Furthermore, the automaker said it will debut a new electric vehicle model there in 2024.

“Adding an all-electric version in 2024 means Craiova will be our third facility in Europe to build an all-electric vehicle,” sai Stuart Rowley, president of Ford of Europe. “It follows recent investments this year in the Ford Cologne Electrified Vehicle Center in Germany and Ford Otosan’s Kocaeli plant in Turkey and sends another clear signal that we are on an accelerated path to providing our commercial vehicle customers with a zero emissions future in Europe.”

USITC rules on prestressed concrete steel wire strand from China

The United States International Trade Commission undertook a five-year sunset review covering imports of prestressed concrete steel wire strand from China. Ultimately, the USITC ruled existing orders for the product should remain in place.

“The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) today determined that revoking the existing antidumping and countervailing duty orders on imports of prestressed concrete steel wire strand from China would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury within a reasonably foreseeable time,” the USITC said in a release.

The Department of Commerce imposed anti-dumping and countervailing duties on the product in 2010. Following a five-year sunset review in 2015, the duties remained in place.

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