DESPITE STRIKE, U.S. LIGHT VEHICLE SALES INCREASED
September light vehicle sales totaled 1.332 million units, up slightly from August and up 18.5% from 1.124 million units in September 2022. U.S. sales totaled 44,398 units/day, the highest level in two months. Sales in September were boosted by higher fleet sales, better new-vehicle availability, improved incentive programs, and pent-up demand.
Zinc pricing held relatively steady after seeing a slight bump at the end of last week as China ramped up purchases ahead of their current Golden Week holiday.
- Zinc pricing held at $1.14/lb this week and has remained in a relatively tight range for the past month.
- The average over the past 30 days is $1.13.
Spot iron ore pricing increased slightly this week, climbing to $118/mt.
- Current spot iron ore is still slightly below the 30-day average ($120/mt) but is above the 90-day average ($112/mt).
Met coal pricing continued to push higher this week, climbing to $340/mt on the increased demand and tight supply.
- This is up 4.3% from last week and is up 26.9% from this time last month.
After inching higher the previous two weeks, US raw steel production declined last week.
- U.S. steelmakers produced 1.722 million tons at a 75.7% utilization rate.
- The current YTD utilization rate is at 76.0%, down 1.3% compared to the same time last year
Preliminary total imports for September (25 days) were up slightly compared to the daily pace in August.
- Flat rolled imports are coming in at a slightly faster rate as well compared to the daily pace in August.
Total construction spending continued to climb in August, now up for the eighth consecutive month.
- Total spending came in at a $1.983 trillion rate in August, up 0.5% from July and up 7.4% from the $1.847 trillion rate in August 2022.
- This is the largest year-over-year increase in total spending since March.
- Spending increased for both non-residential and residential projects in August, seeing month-over-month increases of 0.4% and 0.6%, respectively.
- While non-residential spending has increased for eight straight months, the increase in residential spending marked five consecutive months.
- Residential spending continued to decline on a year-over-year basis however, sliding 3.0% compared to last August.
- Non-residential spending accounts for 55.1% of total spending in August, its lowest percentage since March.
Economic activity in the manufacturing sector slipped in September, now down for the eleventh consecutive month.
- The ISM Manufacturing PMI came in at 49.0, improving from 47.6 in August but still in contraction.
- Despite remaining in contraction, this was the highest reading since last November.
- Any reading below 50 shows contraction, while any reading above 50 shows expansion.
- The production and new order components saw some of the largest improvements in September, with the production component back in the expansion territory.
- The new order and production components improved to 49.2 and 52.5, respectively.
- The backlog of orders component weakened further, slipping to 42.4 from 44.1, previously.
Despite the ongoing strike at the “Big 3” auto producers, U.S. light vehicle sales increased in September.
- September light vehicle sales totaled 1.332 million units, up slightly from August and up 18.5% from 1.124 million units in September 2022.
- On a daily basis, U.S. sales totaled 44,398 units/day, the highest level in two months.
- Sales of both domestically produced cars and light trucks increased in September, climbing 3.0% and 0.5%, respectively.
- Sales in September were boosted by higher fleet sales, better new-vehicle availability, improved incentive programs, and pent-up demand.
- Year-to-date light vehicle sales are now 14.1% above the total from the same timeframe last year.
This material, information and analyses (the “Content”) may include certain statements, estimates and projections prepared with respect to, among other things, historical data and anticipated performance. Content may reflect various assumptions by Majestic Steel USA, Inc. concerning anticipated results that are inherently subject to significant economic, competitive and other uncertainties and contingencies and have been included for illustrative purposes. Content is provided AS-IS.