Steel Products Prices North America

Steel Mill Utilization Stuck in the High 70s

Written by Tim Triplett

Raw steel production by U.S. mills has been stuck in the high 70 percent range for the past seven weeks. The last time the utilization rate was above the desired mark of 80 percent was the week ending Aug. 24. Production for the most recent week ending Oct. 5 totaled 1,804,000 net tons at a mill utilization rate of 78.0 percent, down 1.2 percent from the previous week and down 3.9 percent compared with the same week last year, reported the American Iron and Steel Institute.

Adjusted year-to-date production through Oct. 5 totaled 74,257,000 net tons for the year at an average mill utilization of 80.4 percent–still up 3.0 percent from 2018 when the year-to-date utilization rate was 77.5 percent.

Following is production by district for the Oct. 5 week: North East: 211,000 net tons; Great Lakes, 659,000 net tons; Midwest, 196,000 net tons; South, 663,000 net tons; and West, 75,000 net tons, for a total of 1,804,000 tons. Production for the week saw declines in all regions except the Northeast and 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 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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