This Morning in Metals: US import prices decline by 0.4% in August

This morning in metals news: U.S. import prices declined by 0.4% in August; the Energy Information Administration surveyed the disruption to electricity customers as a result of Hurricane Ida; and, lastly, the European Steel Association commented on the European Union’s proposed Green Deal.
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US import prices fall

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Running against the recent trend, U.S. import prices fell by 0.4%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.
Import prices had jumped by 0.4% in July and 1.1% in June.
“The August downturn was led by lower fuel and nonfuel prices,” the BLS reported. “In contrast, prices for U.S. exports advanced 0.4 percent in August, after increasing 1.1 percent in July.”

Hurricane Ida impact on electricity customers

After Hurricane Ida made landfall in New Orleans in late August, many were left without power.
According to the Energy Information Administration, the storm caused at least 1.2 million electricity customers to lose power. The outages spread out over eight states.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER) said power had been restored to approximately 85% of impacted Louisiana customers as of Sept. 13.
“Entergy estimated that Hurricane Ida damaged 30,000 utility poles, which is nearly as many as the combined effects of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 (17,000 poles) and Hurricane Laura in 2020,” the EIA reported. “Entergy has listed parish-level estimates for power restoration. By its estimates, power may not be restored to certain southeastern Louisiana parishes until near the end of September.”

EUROFER asks for support from EU in decarbonization transition

In July, the European Commission released its Green Deal proposal, which aims to achieve a 55% reduction in net emissions by 2030.

“This decade is a make-or-break moment for delivering on our commitments under the Paris Agreement, in the interest of the health, wellbeing and prosperity of all,” the Commission said in July. “The EU has led by example in setting ambitious targets for reducing net emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 and for being the first climate neutral continent by 2050. These goals are no longer aspirations or ambitions but obligations laid down in the first European Climate Law that create new opportunities for innovation, investment and jobs.”

The European Steel Association (EUROFER) addressed the plan in a statement today, referencing comments about the Green Deal from European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
The so-called “Fit for 55” package will only be successful with the “right conditions and incentives,” EUROFER noted.
In its statement, EUROFER called on E.U. legislators to aid the transition to green energy. Among its requests were “access to affordable low carbon energy, especially electricity and hydrogen” and investment for “breakthrough, clean technologies.”
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