This morning in metals news: the World Steel Association forecast steel demand to rise by 4.5% this year; U.S. import prices increased in September; and, lastly, the Energy Information Administration forecasts U.S. coal-fired electricity generation will increase this year for the first time since 2014.
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Steel demand to rise 4.5%
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted supply chains around the world and, for a time, dented global steel demand.
However, the World Steel Association forecast steel demand will finish up 4.5% in 2021. The rise comes after a just 0.1% increase in 2020. Meanwhile, the World Steel Association forecast demand to rise by 2.2% in 2022.
“2021 has seen a stronger than expected recovery in steel demand, leading to upward revisions in our forecast across the board except for China,” said Saeed Al Remeithi, chairman of the World Steel Association Economics Committee. “Due to this vigorous recovery, global steel demand outside China is expected to return earlier than expected to its pre-pandemic level this year.
“Strong manufacturing activity bolstered by pent-up demand is the main contributor. The developed economies have outperformed our earlier expectations by a larger margin than the developing economies, reflecting the positive benefit of higher vaccination rates and government support measures.”
US import prices up 0.4%
U.S. import prices rose by 0.4% in September, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. The increase marked the largest one-month jump since prices rose by 1.1% in June.
Import prices fell by 0.3% the previous month.
Import fuel prices increased by 3.7% in September after falling by 3.0% the previous month.
Coal-fired electricity generation to rise this year
Speaking of energy news, the Energy Information Administration forecast U.S. coal-fired electricity generation this year will rise for the first time since 2014.
The EIA forecast coal-fired electricity generation to increase by 22% year over year in 2021.
“The U.S. electric power sector has been generating more electricity from coal-fired power plants this year as a result of significantly higher natural gas prices and relatively stable coal prices,” the EIA said.
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