This Morning in Metals: Natural gas exports to exceed imports this year, EIA forecasts

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This morning in metals news: the Energy Information Administration forecast U.S. natural gas exports will exceed imports this year; aluminum prices remained near 10-year highs last week; and, finally, the Associated General Contractors of America reported on the rise in construction input costs.

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US natural gas exports to exceed imports

natural gas tap

PhotocreoBednarek/Adobe Stock

U.S. natural gas exports are set to exceed imports this year, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported.

The EIA forecast exports will exceed imports by 11.0 billion cubic feet per day, or 50% more than the 2020 average.

“Increases in liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports and in pipeline exports to Mexico are driving this growth in U.S. natural gas exports,” the EIA added. “For the first time since U.S. LNG exports from the Lower 48 states began in 2016, annual LNG exports are expected to outpace pipeline exports—by an estimated 0.6 Bcf/d—this year.”

Aluminum prices remain elevated

As Maria Rosa Gobitz noted in her recent Aluminum MMI report, aluminum prices have recently surged to a nearly 10-year high.

Prices remained elevated last week. The LME three-month price closed last week at $2,592 per metric ton.

Meanwhile, the Chinese primary cash price closed last week at $3,094 per metric ton, or up 4.59% month over month.

Construction inputs continue to rise

Like most, if not all sectors, costs within the construction sector have surged over the last year.

Amid supply shortages, supply chain disruptions and even difficulties in hiring, construction firms have dealt with rising costs across the board.

According to the Associated General Contractors of America, inputs to construction from July 2020 to July 2021 rose by 25.6%.

Meanwhile, bid price for new, nonresidential construction rose by 4.4%, the AGCA reported.

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