Steel Products Prices North America

U.S. Capacity Utilization Nears 68 Percent

Written by David Schollaert

Raw steel production by U.S. mills rose another 1.2 percent in the week ending Oct. 10 to 1,502,000 net tons, the 16th increase in the last 18 weeks. The operating rate reached 67.9 percent last week, up from 66.6 percent the week prior. Even though production has experienced steady increases, mill output was still 16.8 percent below levels of the same week last year, reported the American Iron and Steel Institute.

Adjusted year-to-date production through Oct. 10 totaled 60,946,00 net tons, at an average utilization rate of 66.2 percent. That is down 19.6 percent from the same period last year, when the utilization rate was 80.1 percent, AISA said.

Following is production by district for the Oct. 10 week: North East: 147,000 net tons; Great Lakes, 538,000 net tons; Midwest, 154,000 net tons; South, 592,000 net tons; and West, 71,000 net tons for a total of 1,502,000 and a net increase of 18,000 tons. Production was up across all regions.

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 fourth-quarter 2020 is approximately 29.1 million tons, compared to 30.4 million tons for the same period last year and 29.4 million tons for the second quarter of 2020.

David Schollaert

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