Market Update





The Gerdau Market Update tracks and analyzes over 100 data streams that affect long steel consumption, attempting to provide the latest on market trends. Below, you will find the most recent information about Macroeconomics, Steel Econometrics, Construction and Manufacturing as it becomes available.

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­­U.S. Steel Capacity Utilization: The total tonnage for the week ending March 27th was 1,760 million net tons, at a capacity utilization rate of 77.6%. The year-to-date tonnage output is 22,510 million net tons, at an average capacity utilization rate of 76.5%. In 2020, the same output total was 24,515 million net tons, at an average capacity utilization of 80.9%.
Oil and Gas Rotary Rig Counts:  The total number of operating rigs in the U.S. as of March 26th was 324 oil and 92 gas (totaling 416). In percentage terms, on a month on month (m/m) basis, oil rigs were up 4.9% and gas was flat. Looking at year over year (y/y), rigs were down 48.1% for oil and down 9.8% for gas. The combined figure for y/y was -42.7%, or -311 rigs.
Oil and Gas Rotary Rig Counts:  The total number of operating rigs in Canada as of March 26th was 31 oil and 50 gas (totaling 81). In percentage terms, on a month on month (m/m) basis, oil rigs were down 66.3% and gas down 29.6%. On a year on year (y/y) comparison, rigs were up 72.2% for oil and up 38.9% for gas. The combined figure for y/y was +50.0%, or +27 rigs.
­­­Construction Put-in-Place, (CPIP): Total U.S. construction spending continued to perform well in February 2021, especially in the private sector. Census Bureau non-seasonally adjusted (NSA), constant dollar CPIP data showed that February’s three month total (3MT) construction expenditures grew by 6.3% year on year (y/y) to $329.8 billion. Breaking that down, private expenditures advanced 7.6% y/y, state & local advanced by 2.5% y/y, and federal expenditures advanced by 2.1% y/y.
Advance Durable Goods Orders: The U.S. Census Bureau reported that new orders in February 2021 for durable goods decreased by 1.1% month on month (m/m) to $254B, following the 3.5% increase in January. The always-volatile nondefense aircraft orders, down 39.1% year on year (y/y), influenced this trend significantly.
Architectural Billings Index: February 2021’s Architectural Billings Index of 53.3 was up 8.4 points from January’s 44.9, which is within the expansionary zone, (+50). U.S. architecture firms specializing in commercial/industrial facilities likewise reported an increase in design activity in February, coming on the heels of a downturn last month. Firms concentrating in the multifamily residential and institutional sectors declined in February.
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