Steel Products Prices North America

Raw Steel Production Down for Second Week in a Row

Written by Tim Triplett

Weekly raw steel production saw its second decline of 1 percent or more in the week ending March 14, suggesting that the coronavirus may be affecting steel demand. Production last week totaled 1,878,000 net tons with the mills operating at 80.5 percent of their capability. That’s down 25,000 tons or 1.3 percent from the prior week when utilization was at 81.6 percent. The March 14 week’s production is a 1.8 percent decrease from the same period last year, reported the American Iron and Steel Institute.

Adjusted year-to-date production through March 14 totaled 20,131,000 net tons at an average utilization rate of 81.7 percent. That’s still up 0.4 percent from production in the same period last year when the average utilization rate was 81.6 percent.

Following is production by district for the March 14 week: North East: 225,000 net tons; Great Lakes, 689,000 net tons; Midwest, 202,000 net tons; South, 707,000 net tons; and West, 55,000 net tons, for a total of 1,878,000 tons. Significant declines were seen in the North East and West.

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 2020 is approximately 30.3 million tons compare with 29.9 million tons for the same period last year and 30.4 million tons for fourth-quarter 2019.

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