Steel Products Prices North America

Raw Steel Production: Mill Utilization Tops the 80 Percent Mark

Written by Brett Linton

U.S. raw steel production for the week ending Oct. 13 totaled 1,881,000 net tons with the mills operating at 80.2 percent of capacity, reported the American Iron and Steel Institute. The current week’s production is a 1.6 percent improvement from the prior week, and a 10.3 percent jump from the same period last year, when mill utilization was at 73.2 percent. The weekly production figure is the highest since the week ending Jan. 10, 2015, while mill utilization is at a four-year high not seen since Aug. 23, 2014. The domestic mills have been operating near, but just short, of the 80 percent mark nearly every week for the past few months. This latest report, which shows the industry at its goal operating level, should offer a psychological boost.

Adjusted year-to-date producton through Oct. 13 totaled 74,201,000 net tons at a capability utilization rate of 77.6 percent, up 4.8 percent from the same period last year when the capability utilization was 74.3 percent.

Following is production by district for the Oct. 13 week: North East: 221,000 net tons; Great Lakes, 650,000 net tons; Midwest, 211,000 net tons; South, 725,000 net tons; and West, 74,000 net tons, for a total of 1,881,000.

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

Brett Linton

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