This Morning in Metals: MetalMiner looks ahead in January 2022 MMO report

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This morning in metals news: MetalMiner’s January 2022 Monthly Metal Outlook (MMO) report is now available; steel capacity utilization for the week ending Jan. 1, 2022, fell to 80.6%; and, lastly, U.S. job openings declined in November.

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January 2022 MMO report

MetalMiner has kicked off the new year with its latest Monthly Metal Outlook (MMO) forecast report, available only to subscribers.

For more information, those interested can visit the MMO landing page.

Will the steel price cooldown continue? Will stainless buyers find any relief? How are surging energy prices impacting metal producers around the world?

Find all of the above and much more in this month’s forecast report.

Steel capacity utilization dips to 80.6%

U.S. steel capacity utilization for the week ending Jan. 1, 2022, fell to 80.6%, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported.

Steel production during the week totaled 1.79 million tons, AISI reported. The total marked a 0.9% week-over-week decline but 9.5% jump year over year.

As we noted throughout Q4, steel prices finally started to backtrack at the end of last year after rising for over a year. U.S. hot rolled coil, for example, is down 8.3% month over month, closing 2021 at $1,587 per short ton, according to MetalMiner Insights data.

Job openings decline in November

U.S. job openings fell to 10.6 million as of the end of November, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

Job openings in construction fell by 110,000. Meanwhile, nondurable goods manufacturing openings fell by 66,000.

By region, job openings declined in the South and Midwest.

Meanwhile, the quits rate in November matched the series high set in September. Quits increased to a series high of 4.5 million in November.

“Quits increased in several industries with the largest increases in accommodation and food services (+159,000); health care and social assistance (+52,000); and transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+33,000),” the BLS reported. “The number of quits increased in the Northeast, South, and Midwest regions.”

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