This Morning in Metals: Steel capacity utilization dips to 84.8%

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This morning in metals news: the U.S. steel capacity utilization rate dipped to 84.8% for the week ending Aug. 7; BHP and the labor union representing workers at the Escondida mine reportedly extended contract talks by a day; and, lastly, nonfarm labor productivity rose by 2.3% in Q2 2021.

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Steel capacity utilization down to 84.8%

Steel production


U.S. steel capacity utilization fell slightly to 84.8% for the week ending Aug. 7, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported.

The rate marked a slight decline from 85.0% the previous week.

Meanwhile, output last week totaled 1.87 million tons, down 0.2% from the previous week. However, the weekly output marked a year-over-year jump of 26.8%.

U.S. steel production in the year to date totaled 56.4 million net tons, AISI reported, or up 19.3% year over year.

Talks continue between BHP, Escondida workers

Recently, the labor union representing workers at BHP’s Escondida mine — the world’s largest copper mine — have extended contract talks for another day, Reuters reported Monday.

Earlier this month, the union voted to reject the company’s latest contract offer. Since then, the partie have entered a period of government-mediated contract talks. If that period expires without a deal, the union will officially go on strike.

Labor productivity up in Q2

U.S. nonfarm business sector labor productivity rose by 2.3% in Q2 2021, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

Furthermore, output increased by 7.9% and hours worked rose by 5.5%.

The quarter marked the fourth consecutive quarter during which both hours worked and output increased.

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