Steel Products Prices North America

AISI: Steel Mill Utilization at 82.6%

Written by David Schollaert

Raw steel production by U.S. mills totaled 1,834,000 net tons in the week ended June 12, down a slight 0.3% compared to the week prior, but still at a healthy mill utilization rate of 82.6%. That compares to production of 1,272,000 net tons and mill utilization of just 56.8% in the same period last year when the market was disrupted by COVID-19, reported the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI).

The latest data from AISI points to a decreased annual production capacity in domestic steelmaking. The estimated annual capacity has decreased by 2.3% over the past four weeks, from 118.0 million tons to 115.5 million tons. Based on AISI’s ongoing review of its statistical process to “accurately reflect market conditions” (see footnote below), additional changes could be in store as the association accounts for newly added or permanently idled capacity.

Production and mill utilization are back in line with pre-pandemic levels. Mill utilization has eclipsed the 80.0% mark last seen in the week ended March 14, 2020, and continues to edge up week on week.

Adjusted year-to-date production through June 12 was 41,380,000 net tons, at an average utilization rate of 78.5%. That’s up 13.2% from the same period last year when the utilization rate was 67.8% and production was 36,564,000 net tons, AISI said.

Following is production by district for the June 12 week: North East, 143,000 net tons; Great Lakes, 627,000 net tons; Midwest, 196,000 net tons; South, 794,000 net tons; and West, 74,000 net tons, for a total of 1,834,000 net tons. Production was down 6,000 net tons compared to the week prior. The increased output week on week in the North East, Midwest, and South districts were offset by decreases in the Great Lakes and West districts.

Note: The raw steel production tonnage provided in this report is estimated. The figures are compiled from weekly production tonnage provided by approximately 50% of the domestic production capacity combined with the most recent monthly production data for the remainder. Therefore, this report should be used primarily to assess production trends. The AISI production report “AIS 7,” published monthly and available by subscription, provides a more detailed summary of steel production based on data supplied by companies representing 75% of U.S. production capacity. Given the large number of changes to steelmaking capability in the rapidly evolving market environment, AISI is undertaking a review of its raw steel production and capability utilization statistics to ensure they accurately reflect market conditions. Any updates to capability will be phased in over several weeks. Capability for the second quarter of 2021 is approximately 29.3 million tons.

 WeeklyRawSteelProd Wk24

By David Schollaert,

David Schollaert

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