Steel Products Prices North America

US Raw Steel Production Down Marginally

Written by David Schollaert

Raw steel production by US mills slipped further last week, with utilization rates below the 80% mark for the second straight week. Domestic output totaled 1,724,000 net tons in the week ending April 2, while mill capacity utilization was 79.3%, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AIS) reported.

US output was virtually unchanged, down just 0.1% compared to the prior week and 3.5% below the same period last year when production was 1,787,000 net tons. Mill capacity utilization last week was just 0.1 percentage points below the prior week but was still 0.5 percentage points above the same period one year ago when utilization was 78.8%.

Adjusted year-to-date production through April 2 totaled 22,911,000 net tons, at an average utilization rate of 80.2%. That’s down 0.4% from the same period last year when production was 23,005,000 net tons, although the utilization rate then was 77.1%, AISI said.

Production was up in three out of five regions last week. The Midwest posted the largest per ton gain week-on-week, up 14,000 net tons, or 8.4%, while the largest percentage gain was in the West, up 13.6% or 9,000 net tons, versus the prior week.

Below is the production by region for the week ending April 2: Northeast, 173,000 tons (+3,000); Great Lakes, 565,000 tons (-13,000); Midwest, 180,000 tons (+14,000 tons); South, 731,000 tons (-15,000); and West, 75,000 tons (+9,000 tons) – for a total of 1,724,000 net tons, down 2,000 net tons from the prior week.

WeeklyRawSteelProd Wk14

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

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