Steel Products Prices North America

Steel Mill Utilization Still Hovering Around 85%

Written by David Schollaert

Domestic raw steel production slipped in the week ending Oct. 2, remaining just under the pandemic-era high seen the month prior. According to the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), production by U.S. mills was estimated at 1,827,000 net tons while the average mill utilization rate was 84.8%.

Output edged down slightly by 0.4 of a percentage point compared to the week prior when production was estimated at 1,880,000 net tons and average utilization was 85.2%. Last week’s production total represents a 21.6% increase from year-ago levels, when output was 1,540,000 net tons and utilization was 69.0%, and still impacted by pandemic-related measures.

Adjusted year-to-date production through Oct. 2 was 71,409,000 net tons, at an average utilization rate of 81.1%. That’s up 20.3% from the same period last year when the utilization rate was 66.8% and production was 59,381,000 net tons, AISI said.

Production increased in only two of the five regions last week, offset by a greater decrease in the Great Lakes, Midwest, and South regions. Following is production by region for the week ending Oct. 2: Northeast, 177,000 tons; Great Lakes, 649,000 tons; Midwest, 196,000 tons; South, 774,000 tons; and West, 76,000 tons, for a total of 1,872,000 net tons, down 8,000 net tons from the prior week.

WeeklyRawSteelProd Wk40

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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