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Steel Mill Utilization Surpasses the 85% Mark

Written by David Schollaert

Production by U.S. mills was 1,882,000 net tons while the average utilization rate was 85.3% in the week ending Sept. 11, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI). Weekly domestic raw steel production rebounded after slipping for two straight weeks, eclipsing the 85% mark for the first time since Sept.13, 2008.

Weekly output rose by 0.9% compared to the week prior when production was 1,866,000 net tons and average utilization was 84.5%. Last week’s production total represents a 22.4% increase from year-ago levels, when output was 1,537,000 net tons and utilization was 68.6% because of the pandemic.

Adjusted year-to-date production through Sept. 11 was 65,786,000 net tons, at an average utilization rate of 80.8%. That’s up 20.1% from the same period last year when the utilization rate was 66.8% and production was 54,767,000 net tons, AISI said.

Production increased in three of the five regions last week, offsetting the decreases in the remaining two regions. Following is production by region for the Sept. 11 week: North East, 174,000 tons; Great Lakes, 638,000 tons; Midwest, 204,000 tons; South, 786,000 tons; and West, 80,000 tons, for a total of 1,882,000 net tons, up 16,000 net tons from the prior week.

WeeklyRawSteelProd Wk37

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. 

By David Schollaert,

David Schollaert

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