Steel Products

Domestic Steel Production: Utilization Back Below 80%

Written by David Schollaert

Raw steel production by US mills slipped last week, with utilization rates edging back below the 80% mark. Domestic output totaled 1,726,000 net tons in the week ending March 26, while mill capacity utilization was 79.4%, reported the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI).

US output dipped 0.9% compared to the prior week and was 2.4% below the year-ago period when production was 1,768,000 net tons. Mill capacity utilization last week saw a 0.8 percentage point decline from the prior week but was still 1.4 percentage points above the same period one year ago.

{loadposition reserved_message}

Adjusted year-to-date production through March 26 totaled 21,225,000 net tons, at an average utilization rate of 80.4%. That’s virtually unchanged from the same period last year when production was 21,218,000 net tons, though the utilization rate was 77.1%, AISI said.

Production was down in four out of the five regions tracked by AISI last week. The South was the only district to post a week-on-week gain, up 8,000 net tons, or 1.1%. The largest loss versus the prior week in total tons occurred in the Great Lakes (-16,000 tons), followed by the Northeast (-4,000 tons), the West (-3,000), and the Midwest (-1,000).

Below is the production by region for the week ending March 26: Northeast, 170,000 tons; Great Lakes, 578,000 tons; Midwest, 166,000 tons; South, 746,000 tons; and West, 66,000 tons – for a total of 1,726,000 net tons, down 16,000 net tons from the prior week.

WeeklyRawSteelProd Wk13

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. 

By David Schollaert,

David Schollaert

Read more from David Schollaert

Latest in Steel Products