Steel Products Prices North America

Steel Mill Utilization Rate Nears Three-Year High

Written by Tim Triplett

U.S. raw steel production for the week ending March 3 totaled 1,834,000 net tons at a mill capability utilization rate of 78.7 percent, reports the American Iron and Steel Institute in Washington. The last time production was this high was the week ending Jan. 10, 2015, when 1,899,000 tons were produced at a utilization rate of 79.0 percent.

Steel production last week showed an increase of 2.9 percent from the prior week and 5.0 percent from the same period last year. The mill capability utilization rate for the week was up more than two percentage points from the prior week and nearly four percentage points from the same time last year when the rate averaged 74.9 percent.

Adjusted year-to-date producton through March 3 totaled 15,374,000 net tons at a capability utilization rate of 74.5 percent. That’s down 0.8 percent from the same period last year when the capability utilization was 75.1 percent.

Following is production by district for the week of March 3: North East: 213,000 net tons; Great Lakes, 655,000 net tons; Midwest, 169,000 net tons; South, 724,000 net tons; and West, 73,000 net tons, for a total of 1,834,000.

Note, the mill capability for first-quarter 2018 is approximately 30.0 million tons, compared to 30.0 million tons for the same period last year and 30.6 million tons for fourth-quarter 2017.

The raw steel production tonnage provided in this report is estimated. The figures are compiled from weekly production tonnage from 50 percent of the domestic producers combined with monthly production data for the remainder. Therefore, this report should be used primarily to assess production trends. The AISI monthly production report provides a more detailed summary of steel production based on data supplied by companies representing 75 percent of U.S. production capacity.

Below is a graph showing the history of weekly raw steel production. You will need to view the graph on our website to use its interactive features; you can do so by clicking here. If you need assistance logging into or navigating the website, please contact our office at 800-432-3475 or

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