Steel Products Prices North America

Mill Capacity Utilization Dips Below 80%

Written by David Schollaert

For a fourth straight week, U.S. raw steel production has declined. Domestic mills produced a total of 1,758,000 net tons in the week ending Feb. 12, while mill capacity utilization last week averaged 79.8%, reported the American Iron and Steel Institute.

U.S. output was down 1.5% versus the prior week but 1.0% higher than the same year-ago period when production was 1,740,000 net tons. Mill capacity utilization last week saw a 1.3 percentage point decline from the prior week, though it was 3.0 percentage points above the same period one year ago.

Adjusted year-to-date production through Feb. 12 totaled 11,043,000 net tons, at an average utilization rate of 81.6%. That’s up 3.5% from the same period in 2021 when the utilization rate was 76.7% and production was 10,672,000 net tons, AISI said.

Production was down in three out of five regions last week; only the North East and South districts posted a week-on-week increase. The largest decrease versus the prior week in total tons and percentage was seen in the Midwest, down 23,000 net tons or 10.6%, while the West district fell 10.5% or 8,000 net tons versus the prior week.

Below is production by region for the week ending Feb. 12: Northeast, 173,000 tons; Great Lakes, 607,000 tons; Midwest, 195,000 tons; South, 715,000 tons; and West, 68,000 tons – for a total of 1,758,000 net tons, down 27,000 net tons from the prior week.

 WeeklyRawSteelProd Wk7

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 first quarter 2022 is approximately 28.3 million tons.

By David Schollaert,

David Schollaert

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