Steel Products Prices North America

Mill Utilization at 80.6 Percent Through First Three Quarters

Written by Tim Triplett

With three quarters of 2019 nearly complete, U.S. steel mills have managed to keep capacity utilization above the industry’s target of 80 percent, producing 3.4 percent more steel than they did in the first three quarters of 2018, reported the American Iron and Steel Institute. Through the week ending Sept. 28, domestic steelmakers produced 72,593,000 net tons for the year at an average mill utilization of 80.6 percent. Weekly utilization is currently trending lower, however, putting the 80 percent goal for the year in question.

Raw steel production by U.S. mills saw a small uptick last week, taking the industry’s average capability utilization rate back up to 78.4 percent from 77.7 percent the prior week. Production for the week ending Sept. 28 totaled 1,825,000 net tons, up 0.9 percent from the previous week but down 2.2 percent compared with the same period last year

Following is production by district for the Sept 28 week: North East: 205,000 net tons; Great Lakes, 666,000 net tons; Midwest, 201,000 net tons; South, 683,000 net tons; and West, 70,000 net tons, for a total of 1,825,000 tons. Production for the week saw declines in the Great Lakes and South, but increases in the other regions.

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 third-quarter 2019 is approximately 30.6 million tons compared to 30.8 million tons for the same period last year and 30.3 million tons for second-quarter 2019.

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