This Morning in Metals: Steel capacity utilization rises to 84.1%

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This morning in metals news: the U.S. steel capacity utilization rate rose to 84.1% last week; privately owned housing starts jumped in June; and, lastly, Pedro Castillo has been declared president-election in Peru.

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US steel capacity utilization rises to 84.1%

hot rolled steel

niteenrk/Adobe Stock

The U.S. steel capacity utilization rate continues to rise, jumping to 84.1% for the week ending July 17, the American Iron and Steel Institute reported.

The sector churned out 1.86 million net tons during the week. The output total marked an increase of 0.4% from the previous week and 37.7% year over year.

For the year to date, output reached 50.8 million net tons at a capacity utilization rate of 79.6%.

Housing starts jump in June

Meanwhile, privately owned housing starts reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.64 million in June, the Census Bureau reported.

The rate marked an increase of 6.3% from May.

Furthermore, single‐family housing starts came in at a rate of 1.16 million, or up 6.3% from May. In addition, for units in buildings with five units or more, the June rate reached 474,000.

Peru has president-elect

Peru’s contested presidential election appears to have reached its conclusion with the announcement of Pedro Castillo as president-elect.

Earlier this year, Castillo won a slim majority in the presidential runoff against right-wing candidate Keiko Fujimori. Fujimori contested the election, claiming electoral fraud.

Earlier this year, MetalMiner’s Stuart Burns delved into the political and pandemic situations in Peru, a mining powerhouse.

“The frontrunner in last month’s first round is a previously obscure ex-teacher by the name of Pedro Castillo,” Burns wrote June 1. “Castillo’s Marxist policies have rattled markets, plunging the Peruvian stock market by 12%. It has also prompted a fall in the currency to a historic low of 3.85 to the dollar, the Financial Times reports.

“His party, Peru Libre (Free Peru), wants nothing short of revolution, the post reports. It aims to overturn the free-market model that has governed the country for a generation.

“In its manifesto, the party says foreign mining companies should be forced to pay 80% of their profits to the state rather than the “miserable” 10%, 20% or 30% they pay now.”

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