Steel Products Prices North America

AISI: Mill Utilization Nears the 85.0% Mark

Written by David Schollaert

The average utilization rate for U.S. steel mills reached 84.6% in the week ending July 24, while domestic raw steel production totaled 1,868,000 net tons, keeping the upward momentum going for the fourth straight week, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI).

Weekly output was up 0.5% compared to the week prior when production was 1,859,000 net tons and average utilization was 84.1%. Last week’s production total represents a 38.4% increase from year-ago levels, when output was limited to 1,350,000 net tons and utilization to 60.3% due to the pandemic.

While production was up 0.5% week on week, AISI cut estimated annual production again, down 0.1% from the week prior and down 2.8% since late May. The association is attempting to adjust capacity data to better reflect current mill throughput. AISI presently estimates annualized U.S. domestic mill capacity at 114.8 million tons, down from 118.0 million tons in May.

Adjusted year-to-date production through July 24 was 52,655,000 net tons, at an average utilization rate of 79.8%. That’s up 18.4% from the same period last year when the utilization rate was 66.7% and production was 44,464,000 net tons, AISI said.

Following is production by district for the July 24 week: North East, 149,000 net tons; Great Lakes, 642,000 net tons; Midwest, 200,000 net tons; South, 802,000 net tons; and West, 75,000 net tons, for a total of 1,868,000 net tons. Production was up 9,000 net tons compared to the week prior. Decreased output in the Great Lakes and West districts was offset by increased output in the North East, Midwest, and South districts.

WeeklyRawSteelProd Wk30

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 current rapidly evolving market environment, AISI is undertaking a comprehensive review of its raw steel production and capability utilization statistics to ensure that they accurately reflect market conditions. Any updates to capability will be phased in over several weeks. Capability for the second quarter 2021 is approximately 29.3 million tons.

By David Schollaert,

David Schollaert

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