Steel Products Prices North America

Mill Utilization Edges Back Up Above 85%

Written by David Schollaert

Domestic raw steel production crept up in the week ending Sept. 25, recovering from the slight dip the week prior and landing just under the pandemic-era high seen earlier in the month. According to the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), production by U.S. mills was estimated at 1,880,000 net tons while the average utilization rate was 85.2%.

Weekly output rose by 0.3% compared to the week prior when production was 1,874,000 net tons and average utilization was 84.9%. Last week’s production total represents a 22.3% increase from year-ago levels, when output was 1,537,000 net tons and utilization was just 68.6% due to disruptions from COVID-19.

Adjusted year-to-date production through Sept. 25 was 69,540,000 net tons, at an average utilization rate of 81.0%. That’s up 20.2% from the same period last year when the utilization rate was 66.8% and production was 57,841,000 net tons, AISI said.

Production decreased slightly in three of the five regions last week but was offset by larger increases in the South and Great Lakes regions. Following is production by region for the week ending Sept. 25: Northeast, 172,000 tons; Great Lakes, 650,000 tons; Midwest, 202,000 tons; South, 786,000 tons; and West, 70,000 tons, for a total of 1,880,000 net tons, up 6,000 net tons from the prior week.

WeeklyRawSteelProd Wk39

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 third quarter 2021 is approximately 29.0 million tons.

By David Schollaert,

David Schollaert

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