Steel Products Prices North America

Weekly Steel Production Sees Small Uptick

Written by Tim Triplett

Mill utilization by domestic steelmakers improved slightly in the week ending May 23 as steel production totaled 1,191,000 net tons with the mills operating at an average rate of 53.2 percent. Production was up 0.8 percent from the prior week when the utilization rate was 52.7 percent, reported the American Iron and Steel Institute. While still down dramatically from capacity utilization above 80 percent prior to the coronavirus shutdowns, steel production has remained steady in the low 50s for the past month. That may change in June, for better or worse, as the mills begin to bring additional capacity online in anticipation of greater demand as government eases restrictions on commerce.

Adjusted year-to-date production through May 23 totaled 33,231,000 net tons at an average utilization rate of 70.3 percent–down 14.7 percent from production in the same period last year when the average utilization rate was 81.4 percent.

Following is production by district for the May 23 week: North East: 93,000 net tons; Great Lakes, 395,000 net tons; Midwest, 127,000 net tons; South, 517,000 net tons; and West, 59,000 net tons, for a total of 1,191,000 tons. Production increased by a modest 10,000 tons with small upticks in three of the five regions.

Note: 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. Capability for second-quarter 2020 is approximately 29.1 million tons, compared to 30.3 million tons for the same period last year and 30.1 million tons for the first quarter of 2020. 

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