This Morning in Metals: Senate passes $1T infrastructure bill

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This morning in metals news: the U.S. Senate on Tuesday voted to pass a $1 trillion infrastructure bill; the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers rose once again in July; and, finally, the Energy Information Administration forecast lower-than-average natural gas inventories heading into the winter heating season.

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Senate passes $1T infrastructure bill

infrastructure

Newport Coast Media/Adobe Stock

After a lengthy back and forth, the U.S. Senate passed a $1 trillion infrastructure bill Tuesday by a vote of 69-30.

“There is a discrepancy in historical Federal investment between highways, aviation, and intercity passenger rail,” the bill text reads. “Between 1949 and 2017, the Federal Government invested more than $2 trillion in our nation’s highways and over $777 billion in aviation. The Federal Government has invested $96 billion in intercity passenger rail, beginning in 1971 with the creation of the National Railroad Passenger Corporation. Intercity passenger rail Federal investment is only 12 percent of Federal aviation investment and less than 5 percent of Federal highway investment.”

United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai said the deal marked a step closer to “historic, once-in-a-generation infrastructure investments.”

“The bill will improve our roads, bridges and ports, build resilient energy networks that combat climate change, and strengthen our supply chains,” Tai said. “Finally, the strong Buy America provisions will support our workers and revitalize domestic industries while maintaining America’s competitive edge.”

CPI posts July rise

As consumers have come to know all too well, everything is getting more and more expensive.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for All Urban Consumers increased by 0.5% in July, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. The CPI had jumped by 0.9% in June.

“The indexes for shelter, food, energy, and new vehicles all increased in July and contributed to the monthly all items seasonally adjusted increase,” the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. “The food index increased 0.7 percent in July as five of the major grocery store food group indexes rose, and the food away from home index increased 0.8 percent. The energy index rose 1.6 percent in July, as the gasoline index increased 2.4 percent and other energy component indexes also rose.”

EIA: Lower-than-average natural gas inventories heading into winter

Inventories of natural gas are expected to be lower than average heading into the winter heating season, the Energy Information Administration reported.

The EIA forecast U.S. natural gas inventories will reach 3,592 billion cubic feet by Nov. 1. That is 159 billion cubic feet below the five-year average from 2016-2020.

“Above-average withdrawals of natural gas from storage in the 2020–2021 winter heating season and below-average injections into storage this summer contributed to our forecast of below-average inventories of natural gas, along with relatively flat dry natural gas production and high natural gas exports,” the EIA reported.

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