Steel Products Prices North America

Raw Steel Production Up a Tad, Utilization Still Below 80%

Written by David Schollaert

Raw steel production by US mills rebounded last week, following repeated declines the prior two weeks. Despite the gain, utilization rates remain below the 80% mark for the third straight week. Domestic output totaled 1,739,000 net tons in the week ending April 9, while mill capacity utilization was 79.7%, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported.

US output was up 0.9% versus the week prior but 2.7% below the same year-ago period when production was 1,787,000 net tons. Mill capacity utilization last week was 0.4 percentage points above the prior week and 0.9 percentage points above the same period one year ago when utilization was 78.8%.

Adjusted year-to-date production through April 9 totaled 24,650,000 net tons, at an average utilization rate of 80.2%. That’s down 0.6% from the same period last year when production was 24,792,000 net tons, though the utilization rate was lower at 77.1%, AISI said.

Production was up in three out of five regions last week. The Midwest posted the largest per ton and percentage gain week-on-week, up 30,000 net tons, or 16.7%, followed by the South (+14,000, +1.9%) and the West (+1,000, +1.3%) districts. The Northeast and Great Lakes combined for a 30,000-net-ton loss week on week.

Below is the production by region for the week ending April 9: Northeast, 169,000 tons; Great Lakes, 539,000 tons; Midwest, 210,000 tons; South, 745,000 tons; and West, 76,000 tons – for a total of 1,739,000 net tons, up 15,000 net tons from the prior week.

WeeklyRawSteelProd Wk15

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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