Steel Products Prices North America

Weekly Steel Production Resumes Uptrend

Written by David Schollaert

Weekly raw steel production by U.S. mills totaled 1,579,000 net tons in the week ending Dec. 5. As expected, production increased by 1.2 percent after edging off slightly the week prior due to the Thanksgiving holiday break. The operating rate as a result rose to 71.4 percent, up from 70.6 percent the prior week. Even though present mill utilization is down 13.1 percent compared with year-ago levels, based on the way the American Iron and Steel Institutes calculates the data including idled capacity, most flat rolled mills actually are running full out.

Adjusted year-to-date production through Dec. 5 was 73,765,000 net tons, at an average utilization rate of 67.2 percent. That is down 18.3 percent from the same period last year, when the utilization rate was 80.0 percent, AISI said.

Following is production by district for the Dec. 5 week: North East: 144,000 net tons; Great Lakes, 555,000 net tons; Midwest, 169,000 net tons; South, 641,000 net tons; and West, 70,000 net tons for a total of 1,579,000. The Southern region was the only one to report a decreased output compared to the week prior. The other four regions saw noticeable increases week-on-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 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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