Steel Products Prices North America

Domestic Raw Steel Production at 5 Year Low

Written by Brett Linton

For the week ending April 4, 2015, the American Iron & Steel Institute (AISI) estimated the U.S. steel industry produced 1,600,000 net tons of raw steel, a 1.7 percent decrease over the previous week and a 13.7 percent decrease over the same week one year ago. The estimated capacity utilization rate is 67.7 percent, down from 68.9 percent last week and down from 77.1 percent last year.

The last time raw steel production was this low was in the week ending January 30, 2010 when it was 1,594,000 tons and the capacity utilization rate was 66.9 percent. The last time the capacity utilization rate was this low was for the week ending November 6, 2010 when it was 66.8 percent and production was at 1,615,000 tons.

Estimated total raw steel produced for 2015 YTD is reported to be 23,145,000 tons, down 6.3 percent from the 24,701,000 tons produced during the same period in 2014. The average capacity utilization rate for 2015 YTD is estimated to be 72.9 percent, down from 77.0 percent for 2014 YTD.

Note that the total production capability figure for Q1 2015 is based on 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 191,000 tons, down 4,000 tons. Great Lakes at 591,000 tons, up 12,000 tons. Midwest at 217,000 tons, up 4,000 tons. South at 511,000 tons, down 45,000 tons. West at 90,000 tons, up 5,000 tons. Total production was 1,600,000 tons, down 28,000 tons.

SMU Note (1): A large drop in raw steel production is a good sign for the current market conditions. 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}

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