Steel Products Prices North America

Ups and Downs for Domestic Steel Production

Written by David Schollaert

Raw steel production by U.S. mills edged back down last week, a trend seen six out of the past eight weeks, as mill utilization cycles up and down within a small range. Domestic mills produced a total of 1,737,000 net tons in the week ending March 12, while capacity utilization slipped back down to 79.9%, reported the American Iron and Steel Institute.

U.S. output was down 1.4% compared to the prior week and 1.8% below the same year-ago period when production was 1,768,000 net tons. Mill capacity utilization last week saw a 0.1 percentage point decrease from the prior week but was still 1.9 percentage points above the same period one year ago.

Adjusted year-to-date production through March 12 totaled 17,757,000 net tons, at an average utilization rate of 80.6%. That’s up just 0.4% from the same period last year when the utilization rate was 77.1% and production was 17,681,000 net tons, AISI said.

Production was down in three out of five regions last week. The Northeast, Great Lakes, and Midwest regions posted week-on-week decreases, while the South and West regions posted back-to-back gains. The largest gain versus the prior week in total tons was seen in the South, up 8,000 net tons or 1.1%, while the West saw the largest percentage gain, up 5.8% or 4,000 net tons versus the prior week.

Below is the production by region for the week ending March 12: Northeast, 164,000 tons; Great Lakes, 579,000 tons; Midwest, 170,000 tons; South, 751,000 tons; and West, 73,000 tons – for a total of 1,737,000 net tons, down 25,000 net tons from the prior week.

WeeklyRawSteelProd Wk11

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

Read more from David Schollaert

Latest in Steel Products Prices North America