Along with a swifter than expected recovery from this year’s recession, comes a little bit of inflation. All the newfound work from home opportunities designed to protect people from the COVID virus has put a damper on formal clothing sales. Gasoline prices remain steady as consumers stay home a lot more than normal. The steel industry is going through a period of change involving a mix of consolidation and equipment failures which are forcing customers to scramble for their steel needs. The automotive industry has recovered somewhat but is facing tepid demand at least for the balance of this year.
-Bill Feier, Manager of World Sourcing
– The Consumer Price Index 0.2% in September on a seasonally adjusted basis. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 1.4% before seasonal adjustment. The index for used cars and trucks continued to rise sharply and accounted for most of the monthly increase in the seasonally adjusted all items index. The food index was unchanged, with an increase in the food away from home index offsetting a decline in the food at home index. The energy index rose 0.8% in September as the index for natural gas increased 4.2%.
– The Producer Price Index for final demand advanced 0.4% in September. Nearly two-thirds of the rise in prices for final demand is attributable to a 0.4% increase in the index for final demand services. Prices for final demand goods also moved up 0.4%.
– Italian luxury designer Brunello Cucinelli makes men’s suits that sell for up to $8,200. But even he – like most people across the globe – hasn’t worn a suit for months, let alone bought one. “We’ve all been locked away at home, so this is the first jacket I have put on since March,” Cucinelli told Reuters in Milan as he presented his latest collection in September, wearing a light grey blazer. Most people in “white-collar” jobs are working from home, with a newfound love of sweatpants, a trend that some experts expect to outlive the pandemic. And few, if any, weddings or parties are taking place. This seismic shift in behavior is having profound repercussions across the supply chain for suits and formal wear, upending a sartorial sector spanning every continent.
+ Supply continues to outpace demand and that is good for gasoline prices. The vast majority of motorists are seeing stability at the pump, despite Hurricane Delta. This week 45 state gas price averages fluctuated by one or two pennies, if at all. Demand just is not strong enough to outpace supply, which means drivers are continuing to benefit from cheaper prices at the pump. Today, motorists can find gas for $2.25 or cheaper at 72% of gas stations, compared to 12% last October.
– #1 heavy melt scrap is $245 per ton and #1 busheling scrap is at $290 per ton.
– Raw steel production in the United States totaled 1,502,000 net tons for the week, up by 1.2% from 1,484,000 tons the previous week, with mills operating at an average capacity utilization rate of 67.9%.
– Iron ore FOB Chinese ports is at $122 per dry metric ton.
+ Zinc prices are trending down.
– Galvanized imports surprised in September, but are starting slow in October.