Steel Products Prices North America

May Raw Steel Production at 9 Month High

Written by Brett Linton

The American Iron & Steel Institute (AISI) recently reported final U.S. raw steel production estimates for the month of May 2016. The monthly estimates are different than the weekly estimates we report in our Tuesday issues; the AISI bases the monthly estimates on over 75 percent of the domestic mills reporting vs. only 50 percent for the weekly estimates.

Total raw steel production for the month of May was reported to be 7,693,546 net tons with 5,252,885 tons being produced by electric arc furnaces (EAF) and 2,440,661 tons produced by blast furnaces. May raw steel production was reported to be 416,985 tons or 5.7 percent higher than the previous month and 149,067 tons or 2.0 percent higher over the same month last year. May production levels are at the highest seen since July 2015 when total raw production was 7,751,341 tons.

Compared to the first five months of 2015, 2016 YTD production is up 0.3 percent to 36,630,915 tons. The table below shows that 5 of the 11 state-groups reported increased year over year production over the same period last year.

The capacity utilization rate for the month of May 2016 was reported to be 74.3 percent, up from 72.6 percent in April and up from 72.1 percent reported in May 2015. Note that there has been a reduction in available steel capacity from 2015 to 2016, making the capacity utilization rate higher in 2016 for the same amount of steel produced in 2015.

SMU Note: An interactive graphic of our raw steel production history can be seen in the Analysis section of our website here. If you need help logging into the website or navigating through it, please contact us at or 800-432-3475.

Brett Linton

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