This Morning in Metals: US steel capacity utilization down to 83.2%, steel prices muted

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This morning in metals news: the U.S. steel capacity utilization rate fell to 83.2% last week; North American Stainless maintained its stainless steel fuel surcharge; and, lastly, crude oil prices have lost steam this week.

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US steel capacity utilization rate hits 83.2%

steel production

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The U.S. steel capacity utilization rate fell to 83.2% for the week ending Nov. 27, down from 84.3% the previous week, the American Iron and Steel Institute reported.

Steel output last week totaled 1.84 million net tons. The total marked a 1.3% decline from the previous week but a 13.3% year-over-year gain.

For the year to date, production reached 86.3 million net tons, or up 19.7% year over year.

U.S. steel prices have finally started to soften. U.S. HRC closed last week at $1,793 per short ton, according to MetalMiner Insights data, or down 5.6% month over month. Meanwhile, U.S. CRC closed at $2,111, down 0.3% month over month.

NAS maintains fuel surcharge

In the stainless steel market, North American Stainless (NAS) announced it is maintaining its fuel surcharge at 31% for stainless flat and long products.

“For the month of December 2021, North American Stainless will maintain the fuel surcharge of 31% for stainless flat and long products,” NAS said today.

“The surcharge rate is considered the maximum level for December and will be reviewed monthly.”

Crude oil price slips

Speaking of fuel, the WTI crude oil price has slipped in recent weeks.

WTI crude closed Tuesday at $66.18 per barrel, according to the Energy Information Administration. The price fell by $12.32 per barrel from the previous week.

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