Steel Products Prices North America

Domestic Mill Utilization Slipped Below 80% Last Week

Written by David Schollaert

Raw steel production by U.S. mills fell again last week, now down five out of the past six weeks. Domestic mills produced a total of 1,755,000 net tons in the week ending Feb. 26, while mill capacity utilization slipped back down to 79.7%, reported the American Iron and Steel Institute.

U.S. output was down 0.5% compared to the prior week but up 0.9% versus than the same year-ago period when production was 1,740,000 net tons. Mill capacity utilization last week saw a 0.4 percentage point decline from the prior week yet was 2.9 percentage points above the same period one year ago.

Adjusted year-to-date production through Feb. 26 totaled 14,562,000 net tons, at an average utilization rate of 81.2%. That’s up 2.9% from the same period last year when the utilization rate was 76.7% and production was 14,152,000 net tons, AISI said.

Production was down in four out of five regions last week; only the South district posted a week-on-week increase. The largest decrease versus the prior week in total tons was seen in the Midwest, down 6,000 net tons or 3.1%, while the West saw the largest percentage slip, down 7% or 5,000 net tons versus the prior week.

Below is production by region for the week ending Feb. 26: Northeast, 170,000 tons; Great Lakes, 597,000 tons; Midwest, 186,000 tons; South, 736,000 tons; and West, 66,000 tons – for a total of 1,755,000 net tons, down 9,000 net tons from the prior week.

WeeklyRawSteelProd Wk9

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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