Steel Products Prices North America

Mill Utilization Hits New High for the Year

Written by Tim Triplett

U.S. mill capability utilization hit a new high for the year last week, inching closer to the industry’s desired 80 percent mark. The American Iron and Steel Institute reported a utilization rate for the week ending Aug. 11 of 79.1 percent, up from 78.0 percent in the prior week, and up from 75.8 percent in the same week last year. The previous high for mill utilization this year was 78.7 percent in March.

Raw steel production for the Aug. 11 week totaled 1,855,000 net tons, the fourth week in a row that steel output topped 1.8 million tons. Steel production in the U.S. was up 1.5 percent from the previous week and up 5.0 percent from the same period last year. 

Adjusted year-to-date producton through Aug. 11 totaled 57,271,000 net tons at a capability utilization rate of 76.9 percent. That’s up 3.6 percent from 55,289,000 tons in the same period last year when the capability utilization was 74.6 percent.

Following is production by district for the week of Aug. 11: North East: 223,000 net tons; Great Lakes, 681,000 net tons; Midwest, 192,000 net tons; South, 676,000 net tons; and West, 83,000 net tons, for a total of 1,855,000.

Note, mill capability for third-quarter 2018 is approximately 30.8 million tons, compared to 30.6 million tons for the same period last year and 30.5 million tons for second-quarter 2018.

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.

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