Steel Products Prices North America

Domestic Mill Utilization Back to 80%

Written by David Schollaert

Raw steel production by U.S. mills recovered last week, expanding for just the second time in seven weeks. Domestic mills produced a total of 1,762,000 net tons in the week ending March 5, while mill capacity utilization edged back up to 80.0%, the American Iron and Steel Institute reported.

U.S. output was up 0.4% compared to the prior week and just 0.1% higher than the same year-ago period when production was 1,760,000 net tons. Mill capacity utilization last week saw a 0.3 percentage point increase from the prior week and was 2.3 percentage points above the same period one year ago.

Adjusted year-to-date production through March 5 totaled 16,324,000 net tons, at an average utilization rate of 81.1%. That’s up 2.6% from the same period last year when the utilization rate was 76.8% and production was 15,913,000 net tons, AISI said.

Production was up in three out of five regions last week. The Northeast and the Midwest regions posted week-on-week decreases. The largest gain versus the prior week in total tons was seen in the Great Lakes, up 11,000 net tons, or 1.8%, while the West saw the largest percentage gain, up 4.5% or 3,000 net tons versus the prior week.

Below is the production by region for the week ending March 5: Northeast, 166,000 tons; Great Lakes, 608,000 tons; Midwest, 176,000 tons; South, 743,000 tons; and West, 69,000 tons – for a total of 1,762,000 net tons, up 7,000 net tons from the prior week.

WeeklyRawSteelProd Wk10

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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