Steel Products Prices North America

Weekly Raw Steel Production Rate Rises to 10+ Year High

Written by Tim Triplett

U.S. steel mills reached an average capability utilization rate of 82.8 percent in the week ending March 2. Domestic raw steel production for the week totaled 1,927,000 net tons, up 1.0 percent from the prior week and 5.9 percent from the same period last year.

This is the highest capacity utilization rate seen in over 10 years, since the week ending Sept. 27, 2008, when 1,986,000 tons were produced at a rate of 83.2 percent. This is the highest weekly production seen in 4.5 years, since the week ending Aug. 23, 2014, when 1,932,000 tons were produced at a capacity utilization rate of 80.3 percent.

The U.S. steel industry has produced 16,439,000 tons of steel so far in 2019, a 6.9 percent increase from the same period last year. Mill utilization has averaged 81.1 percent this year, up substantially from the 75.7 percent in 2018, reported the American Iron and Steel Institute.

Following is production by district for the March 2 week: North East: 212,000 net tons; Great Lakes, 716,000 net tons; Midwest, 208,000 net tons; South, 717,000 net tons; and West, 74,000 net tons, for a total of 1,927,000 tons. Production for the week was up in all regions but 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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