Steel Products Prices North America

Steel Production Sees Another Small Uptick

Written by Tim Triplett

Mill utilization by domestic steelmakers improved slightly for the second week in a row–perhaps an early hint of an improving economy and growing demand. Steel production in the week ending May 30 totaled 1,206,000 net tons with the mills operating at an average utilization rate of 53.8 percent. Production was up 1.3 percent from the prior week when the utilization rate was 53.2 percent, reported the American Iron and Steel Institute. While slightly positive, the current week’s production still represents a 35.9 percent decrease from the same period last year when the cornonavirus pandemic was nowhere on the horizon. 

Adjusted year-to-date production through May 30 totaled 34,296,000 net tons at an average utilization rate of 69.3 percent–down 16.1 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 30 week: North East: 100,000 net tons; Great Lakes, 406,000 net tons; Midwest, 121,000 net tons; South, 524,000 net tons; and West, 55,000 net tons, for a total of 1,206,000 tons. Production increased in three of the five regions by a net total of 15,000 tons.

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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