This Morning in Metals: Consumer Price Index rises 0.9% in October

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This morning in metals news: the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers Rose by 0.9% in October; meanwhile, U.S. steel shipments rose by 21.3% year over year in September; and, lastly, the natural gas spot price at Henry Hub averaged $5.51 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) in October.

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CPI up 0.9% in October

Consumer Price Index

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The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers rose by 0.9% in October, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

The CPI had ticked up by 0.4% in September. Meanwhile, the index is up by 6.2% over the last 12 months.

The energy index rose by 4.8% in October. For the 12-month period ending in October, the energy index has surged by 30%.

The new vehicles index rose 1.4%, while used cars and trucks rose by 2.5%.

Steel shipments rise 21.3% in September

U.S. steel shipments reached 8.09 million tons in September, the American Iron and Steel Institute reported.

The September total increased by 21.3% year over year. However, shipments fell by 3.8% from the previous month.

For the first nine months of the year, shipments reached 70.74 million tons, up 17% year over year.

Natural gas prices to remain elevated

Heading into the winter season, natural gas prices have surged and appear set to stay at those levels.

In its Short-Term Energy Outlook, the Energy Information Administration reported the natural gas spot price at Henry Hub averaged $5.51 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) in October. The October average marked an increase from $5.16/MMBtu in September.

“The rising natural gas prices in recent months reflect U.S. natural gas inventory levels that are below the five-year (2016–20) average,” EIA reported. “Despite high prices demand for natural gas for electric power generation has remained relatively high, which along with strong global demand for U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) has limited downward natural gas price pressures.”

As a result of lower consumption, the EIA reported energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. declined by 11% in 2020.

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