This Morning in Metals: Steel capacity utilization rises to 85.2%

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This morning in metals news: U.S. steel capacity utilization reached 85.2% for the week ending Sept. 25; meanwhile, most planned U.S. battery storage additions in the next few years will be paired with solar; and, lastly, unemployment rates in August declined in nearly all metropolitan areas.

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Steel capacity utilization rises to 85.2%

hot rolled steel

niteenrk/Adobe Stock

U.S. steel capacity utilization rose to 85.2% for the week ending Sept. 25, the American Iron and Steel Institute reported.

The rate increased from 84.9% the previous week.

Meanwhile, steel production for the week reached 1.88 million net tons, up 0.3% from the previous week. For the year to date, steel output reached 69.54 million net tons at a capacity utilization rate of 81.0%. The total marked an increase of 20.2% year over year.

Battery storage additions to be paired with solar

Battery storage additions in the U.S. over the next three years will mostly be paired with solar, the Energy Information Administration reported.

“Of the 14.5 gigawatts (GW) of battery storage power capacity planned to come online in the United States from 2021 to 2024, 9.4 GW (63%) will be co-located with a solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant, based on data reported to us and published in our Annual Electric Generator Report,” the EIA said. “Another 1.3 GW of battery storage will be co-located at sites with wind turbines or fossil fuel-fired generators, such as natural gas-fired plants. The remaining 4.0 GW of planned battery storage will be located at standalone sites.”

Unemployment rates down in most metro areas

Lastly, unemployment rates in August fell in 385 of 389 metropolitan areas, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

Furthermore, 43 areas had unemployment rates of less than 3.0%. Meanwhile, four areas had rates of greater than 10.0%.

Nonfarm employment increased in 50 metropolitan areas with a 2010 Census population of 1 million or more.

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