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This morning in metals news: nonfarm business sector labor productivity jumped by 5.4% in the first quarter; the CME Group said it will permanently close the trading pits it shut down last March; and US energy production dipped last year.

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US nonfarm labor productivity shoots up in Q1 2021

US nonfarm labor productivity rose by 5.4% in the first quarter, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

Furthermore, output increased by 8.4% and hours worked increased by 2.9%.

Meanwhile, manufacturing labor productivity rose by 0.1% in Q1 2021. Manufacturing output rose by 2.4% and hours worked by 2.3%.

Durable goods manufacturing productivity rose by 0.7% in the first quarter. Meanwhile, nondurable goods manufacturing productivity increased by 0.3%.

CME closes trading pits permanently

After closing its open outcry trading pits last March, the CME Group said the closure is now permanent.

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Western Europe’s hot rolled coil and cold rolled coil prices continued to rise over the past month.

High demand from China and rising input prices supported prices, market sources told MetalMiner.

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Hot rolled coil prices rise

hot-rolled coil steel

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Hot rolled coil from European mills have transacted in the past two weeks for €1,000-€1,020 ($1,200-$1,225) per metric ton exw for rolling and delivery as far ahead as Q4, sources said. Cold rolled coil for the same production and delivery times transacted for about €1,100 ($1,320).

Prices for hot rolled coil in late March reached about €900 ($1,140-1,200). Meanwhile, CRC reached approximately €980 ($1,180).

Deals on imports of HRC over May from India and Turkey concluded at about $1,100 per ton cost and freight (CFR) European ports for delivery in June and July, a second trader stated. That marked an increase from $900-$910 in late March.

A Russian steelmaker also let some steel go into Europe at prices lower than the imports from Asia, another European trading source reported, though no other sources told MetalMiner about this.

The Russians only concluded those transactions in the run-up to Russia’s May holidays. This year, the holidays last 10 days and include May Day on May 1 and Victory Day on May 9, the European trading source warned.

A construction boom in the country has also made Russia’s domestic market the end-user for its rolled product, the source added.

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