Steel Products Prices North America

Raw Steel Production Increases for Fourth Week in a Row

Written by Tim Triplett

Perhaps a reflection of an improving economy, steel production moved up for the fourth week in a row to a total of 1,268,000 net tons in the period ending July 4 with the mills operating at an average utilization rate of 56.6 percent, reported the American Iron and Steel Institute. Production was up 2.3 percent from the prior week when the utilization rate was 55.4 percent. While improved, the current week’s production still represents a 31.6 percent decrease from the same week last year when the market was healthy and the coronavirus pandemic unimaginable.

Adjusted year-to-date production through July 4 totaled 40,638,000 net tons at an average utilization rate of 67.0 percent. That’s down 19 percent from the same period last year when the utilization rate was 81.2 percent.

Following is production by district for the July 4 week: North East: 139,000 net tons; Great Lakes, 420,000 net tons; Midwest, 118,000 net tons; South, 532,000 net tons; and West, 59,000 net tons, for a total of 1,268,000 tons and a net increase of 28,000 tons. Production increased in three of the five regions, with declines in the Midwest and West.

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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