Steel Products Prices North America

Steel Mill Utilization Rate Up for 10th Week in a Row

Written by Tim Triplett

Capacity utilization by domestic steelmakers rose for the 10th week in a row last week, but remained about 25 percent behind production in the same week last year, reported the American Iron and Steel Institute. 

Raw steel production by U.S. mills totaled 1,377,000 net tons in the week ending Aug. 15, with the mills hitting an average utilization rate of 61.5 percent. That’s a 20.4 percent improvement (10.4 percentage points) from the pandemic-induced low in the week ending May 2 when the mills only produced 1,144,000 tons at a rate of 51.1 percent.

Production in the Aug. 15 week was up 1.7 percent from the prior week when the capability utilization rate was 60.4 percent.

Adjusted year-to-date production through Aug. 15 totaled 48,833,000 net tons at an average utilization rate of 65.9 percent. That’s down 20.3 percent from the same period last year when the utilization rate was 80.7 percent, AISI said.

Following is production by district for the Aug. 15 week: North East: 133,000 net tons; Great Lakes, 466,000 net tons; Midwest, 159,000 net tons; South, 548,000 net tons; and West, 71,000 net tons, for a total of 1,377,000 tons and a net increase of 23,000 tons. The Great Lakes region was the only one to see a decline in production last week.

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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