Steel Products Prices North America

Weekly Steel Production Up, But Still Down 20 Percent for the Year

Written by Tim Triplett

Steel production by U.S. mills has been creeping steadily upward for the past eight weeks as the economy and steel demand slowly recover from the effects of the coronavirus. Production for the first seven months of the year remains nearly 20 percent below the same period in 2019, however.

Adjusted year-to-date production through Aug. 1 totaled 46,102,000 net tons at an average utilization rate of 66.2 percent. That’s down 19.9 percent from the same period last year when the utilization rate was 80.9 percent, reported the American Iron and Steel Institute.

In the week ending Aug. 1, domestic steelmakers increased raw steel production to a total of 1,328,000 net tons with the mills operating at an average utilization rate of 59.3 percent. Production increased by 0.6 percent from the prior week when the utilization rate was 58.9 percent. The current week’s production still represents a 28.1 percent decrease from the same period last year.

Following is production by district for the Aug. 1 week: North East: 134,000 net tons; Great Lakes, 462,000 net tons; Midwest, 145,000 net tons; South, 515,000 net tons; and West, 72,000 net tons, for a total of 1,328,000 tons and a net increase of 8,000 tons. Production increased in the North East, Midwest and West, offset by decreases in the Great Lakes and South.

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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