Steel Products Prices North America

U.S. Mills Produce 6.2 Percent More Steel in 2018

Written by Tim Triplett

Cranking out steel at more than 80 percent of capacity late in the year, U.S. mills produced over 95 million tons of raw steel in 2018, 6.2 percent more than the prior year, according to weekly production data from the American Iron and Steel Institute. The average capacity utilization rate for the year increased by more than 4 percentage points to 78.3 percent from 74.0 percent in 2017.

Raw steel production by U.S. steelmakers in the last week of the year ended Dec. 29 totaled 1,899,000 net tons, with the mills operating at 81.0 percent of their capability despite the Christmas holiday. Steel production increased by 1.6 percent from the prior week and 13.3 percent from the same week the prior year when the average capacity utilization was 71.9 percent.  

Following is production by district for the Dec. 29 week: North East: 213,000 net tons; Great Lakes, 733,000 net tons; Midwest, 207,000 net tons; South, 668,000 net tons; and West, 78,000 net tons, for a total of 1,899,000 tons.

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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