Steel Products Prices North America

Weekly Raw Steel Production Down as Inventory Correction Continues

Written by Brett Linton

The most recent weekly raw steel production data is showing a collapse in production by the U.S. steelmakers. For the week ending February 28, 2015, the American Iron & Steel Institute (AISI) estimated that the U.S. steel industry produced 1,657,000 net tons of raw steel, a 3.4 percent decrease over the previous week and a 9.2 percent decrease over the same week one year ago. The estimated capacity utilization rate is 70.1 percent, down from 72.6 percent last week and down from 75.8 percent last year.

Raw steel production is the lowest level seen since the week ending December 25, 2010 when production was 1,648,000 tons and the capacity utilization rate was 68.1 percent. The latest capacity utilization rate is the lowest seen since the week ending November 1, 2012 when it was 69.0 percent and production was at 1,707,000 tons.

Estimated total raw steel produced for 2015 YTD is reported to be 15,010,000 tons, down 2.4 percent from the 15,375,000 tons produced during the same period in 2014. The average capacity utilization rate for 2015 YTD is estimated to be 75.3 percent, down from 75.8 percent for 2014 YTD.

Note that the total production capability figure for Q1 2015 is approximately 30,400,000 tons versus 30,900,000 tons for Q1 2014 and 31,600,000 tons for Q4 2014. 

Week-over-week changes per district are as follows: Northeast at 208,000 tons, down 6,000 tons. Great Lakes at 618,000 tons, down 34,000 tons. Midwest at 221,000 tons, up 5,000 tons. South at 526,000 tons, down 19,000 tons. West at 84,000 tons, down 5,000 tons. Total production was 1,657,000 tons, down 59,000 tons.

SMU Note (1): A large drop in raw steel production is a good sign. It means the inventory adjustments that need to be made at the service centers are happening. This adjustment, combined with a marginal spread between foreign and domestic prices which dampens the need to buy foreign steel will result in a much stronger domestic market in the 2nd Half 2015.

SMU Note (2): You can view the interactive graphic on weekly raw steel production below when you are logged into the website and reading the newsletter online. If you have not logged into the website in the past and need your username and password, contact us at or by calling 800-432-3475. If you need help navigating the website we would also be very happy to assist you.

{amchart id=”84″ Weekly Raw Steel Production from AISI}

Brett Linton

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