Steel Products Prices North America

Weekly Raw Steel Production Slips: AISI

Written by David Schollaert

Domestic raw steel production lost some ground in the week ending Dec. 18, slipping for the third time over the past four weeks and falling to its lowest total since the week ending May 22. U.S. mills produced an estimated at 1,805,000 net tons during the week, while the average mill utilization rate fell to 81.1%, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI).

Last week’s output was the lowest total in more than 30 weeks. Domestic mill production was estimated at 1,793,000 net tons and mill utilization averaged 79.0% during the week ending May 22. Last week’s production was down an estimated 0.7% compared to the previous week when output was assessed at 1,818,000 net tons and average utilization was 82.4%.

Last week’s production total represents just a 12.0% increase from year-ago levels when mills were still working their way back from the initial pandemic-related disruptions. Production by U.S. mills then totaled 1,612,000 net tons, and utilization was 72.9%.

Adjusted year-to-date production through Dec. 18 totaled 91,704,000 net tons, at an average utilization rate of 81.6%. That’s up 19.3% from the same period last year when the utilization rate was 68.1% and production was 76,893,000 net tons, AISI said.

Production fell in all but one region last week. The sole increase came from the South. The largest decrease versus the prior week in total tons was from the Midwest, down 5,000 net tons. The West saw the largest percentage decline, slipping 5.1%, or 4,000 net tons, versus the prior week.

Below is production by region for the week ending Dec. 18: Northeast, 166,000 tons; Great Lakes, 619,000 tons; Midwest, 201,000 tons; South, 745,000 tons; and West, 74,000 tons – for a total of 1,805,000 net tons, down 13,000 net tons from the prior week.

WeeklyRawSteelProd Wk51

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 fourth quarter 2021 is approximately 29.0 million tons.

By David Schollaert,

David Schollaert

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