Steel Products Prices North America

Mills Continue to Dial Up Production

Written by Tim Triplett

For the 11th week in a row, domestic steelmakers continued to dial up their production–a sign of improving steel demand. Raw steel output by U.S. mills totaled 1,412,000 net tons in the week ending Aug. 22, with the mills hitting an average utilization rate of 63.0 percent, reported the American Iron and Steel Institute. That’s a 23.4 percent improvement (11.9 percentage points) from the low in the week ending May 2 when the mills only produced 1,144,000 tons at a utilization rate of 51.1 percent.  

Production in the Aug. 22 week was up 2.5 percent from the prior week when the capability utilization rate was 61.5 percent, but remained 23.3 percent below the same week last year.

Adjusted year-to-date production through Aug. 22 totaled 50,245,000 net tons at an average utilization rate of 65.8 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. 22 week: North East: 134,000 net tons; Great Lakes, 482,000 net tons; Midwest, 157,000 net tons; South, 567,000 net tons; and West, 72,000 net tons, for a total of 1,412,000 tons and a net increase of 35,000 tons. Production was up in all regions except the Midwest.

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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