Steel Products Prices North America

Steel Production Up for Sixth Week in a Row

Written by Tim Triplett

Domestic steelmakers continue to increase raw steel production with mill capacity nearing 60 percent once again, even as the spread of the coronavirus threatens new disruptions to the economy. Steel production moved up for the sixth week in a row to a total of 1,306,000 net tons in the period ending July 18 with the mills operating at an average utilization rate of 58.3 percent, reported the American Iron and Steel Institute. Production has increased 14.2 percent since the low point in early May.

Production last week was up 1.3 percent from the prior week when the utilization rate was 57.5 percent. The current week’s production still represents a 29.3 percent decrease from the same period last year.

Adjusted year-to-date production through July 18 totaled 42,233,000 net tons at an average utilization rate of 66.3 percent. That’s down 19.7 percent from the same period last year when the utilization rate was 80.9 percent.

Following is production by district for the July 18 week: North East: 143,000 net tons; Great Lakes, 450,000 net tons; Midwest, 135,000 net tons; South, 521,000 net tons; and West, 57,000 net tons, for a total of 1,306,000 tons and a net increase of 17,000 tons. Production increased in three of the five regions, with small declines in the South 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 third-quarter 2020 is approximately 29.4 million tons, compared to 30.6 million tons for the same period last year and 29.1 million tons for the second quarter of 2020. 

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