Steel Products Prices North America

Mill Capacity Utilization Tops 82 Percent

Written by Brett Linton

Mill utilization among domestic steelmakers continues to inch upward and is now well above the profitable 80 percent level the industry hopes to maintain. U.S. raw steel production for the week ending Nov. 17 totaled 1,924,000 net tons for a capability utilization rate of 82.1 percent, a half-percent more than the prior week and a 12.6 percent jump from the prior year when the industry was operating at 73.3 percent of its capacity. 

Adjusted year-to-date production through Nov. 17 totaled 83,733,000 net tons at an average capability utilization rate of 78.0 percent, up 5.5 percent from the same period last year when the capability utilization was 74.2 percent.

Following is production by district for the Nov. 17 week: North East: 225,000 net tons; Great Lakes, 711,000 net tons; Midwest, 214,000 net tons; South, 692,000 net tons; and West, 82,000 net tons, for a total of 1,924,000.

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.

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.

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