Steel Products Prices North America

Steel Production Dips Along with Winter Temperatures

Written by Tim Triplett

Harsh winter weather likely contributed to a slight slowdown in the rate of raw steel production last week after two weeks above 1.9 million tons. U.S. steelmakers produced 1,889,000 net tons of steel in the week ending Feb. 2, operating at a capability utilization rate of 81.2 percent. Production was down 1.7 percent from the prior week, but up 8.3 percent from the same week the prior year, reported the American Iron and Steel Institute.  

One month into the year, the industry was averaging a mill utilization rate of 80.5 percent. Total year-to-date production of 8,954,000 tons was up 10.3 percent from the same period in 2018, when the utilization rate was 73.8 percent.

Following is production by district for the Feb. 2 week: North East: 225,000 net tons; Great Lakes, 667,000 net tons; Midwest, 209,000 net tons; South, 714,000 net tons; and West, 74,000 net tons, for a total of 1,889,000 tons. Production for the week was up in the North East, Midwest and South, but down in the Great Lakes and West. Severe winter weather conditions likely contributed to a nearly 8 percent dip in Great Lakes production, offset somewhat by a 3 percent increase in the South.

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: Capability for first-quarter 2019 is approximately 30.5 million tons compared to 30.0 million tons for the same period last year and 30.8 million tons for fourth-quarter 2018.

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