Unemployment claims reach 26.4 million, domestic steel mills idle
As the domestic steel market continues to adjust from the coronavirus fallout, the market seems to be on a shaky path to stability. Of course, stability being relative to the adverse effects of the coronavirus crisis on the business and production world.
According to a new domestic steel market update from Majestic Steel, raw steel production increased slightly last week after hitting its lowest point since 2008. Domestic mills produced around 1,277k tons at a 57.0 percent utilization rate, up from 1,256k tons previously, ad production increased in multiple regions, "with the largest increase (in tons) coming from the Great Lakes region."
"Production from the Great Lakes region climbed from 430k tons to 443k tons. Year-to-date production is now 6.5 percent below the same time frame from last year," the report reads.
All domestic mills, including ArcelorMittal, US Steel and Cliffs-AK Steel have idled at least one location, with some idling more as needed. As expected in a global pandemic, global steel production has also slipped. From the report's section on Global Steel Production:
Global steel production declined to 4.902 million tons/day, down 1.5 percent from 4.977 million tons/day in February. Global production was down on a year-over-year basis as well, sliding 2.9 percent from 5.049 million tons/day in March 2019. This is the third consecutive month and the sixth month out of the last seven to see a year-over-year decline in per day production. The largest month-over-month declines in March came from Brazil, India, and the USA. Even with the widespread shutdowns across their country, China still reported a slight uptick in production in March, re- porting their highest per day production level since December.
The job market has been equally affected by the coronavirus with unemployment claims reaching 26.4 million in the past five weeks. From the report:
The Department of Labor’s Weekly Initial Jobless Claims report came in at 4,427,000 claims, down from 5,237,000 claims previously. The four-week moving average, considered a better measure of the labor market as it irons out week-to-week volatility, in- creased to 5,786,500, from 5,506,500 claims previously. Continuing claims, or claims lasting longer than one week, set another record last week. Continuing claims climbed to 15.976 million, up from 11.912 million previously. The totals remain elevated as individual states continue to try to cope with the massive influx of new claims. Florida alone saw 324,718 new filings, nearly doubling the amount from the previous week.