This Morning in Metals: US steel capacity utilization rises to 79.2%

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This morning in metals news: the US steel capacity utilization rate increased by over a percentage point last week; the Census Bureau released data for April residential construction; and average retail gas prices in the US are over $3.00 per gallon for the first time since 2014.

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US steel capacity utilization hits 79.2%

steelmaking in an EAF

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The US steel capacity utilization rate for the week ending May 15 reached 79.2%, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported.

Production during the week totaled 1,799,000 tons, up 47.1% on a year-over-year basis. Meanwhile, production for the week jumped by 1.4% compared with the week ending May 8.

The steel capacity utilization rate jumped by over a percentage point from the previous week, when it checked in at 78.1%.

Housing starts cool in April

US housing starts reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,569,000 in April, the Census Bureau reported.

The April rate marked a decline of 9.5% from March but a 67.3% rise from April 2020.

Furthermore, single‐family housing starts came in at a rate of 1,087,000, or down 13.4% from March. For units in buildings with five units or more, the rate checked in at 470,000.

Average retail gas price continues to rise

As commodities prices continue to rise across the board, US retail gas prices are no different.

The average retail gas price is now over $3.00 per barrel for the first time since 2014, the Energy Information Administration reported.

“The increased retail price for gasoline in the Lower Atlantic resulted from outages at many gas stations in the region, which occurred because of the pipeline disruption that hindered supply and increased purchases of gasoline in response to the station outages,” the EIA reported.

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