Steel Products Prices North America

Raw Steel Production Up, Utilization Exceeds 80%

Written by David Schollaert

Raw steel production by US mills grew last week, expanding for the second straight week. Utilization rates exceeded the 80% mark for the first time in four weeks. Domestic output totaled 1,766,000 net tons in the week ending April 16, while mill capacity utilization was 80.9%, reported the American Iron and Steel Institute.

US output was up 1.6% versus the week prior but 3.7% below the same year-ago period when production was 1,834,000 net tons. Mill capacity utilization last week was 1.2 percentage points above the prior week and 0.1 percentage points above the same period one year ago when utilization was 80.8%.

Adjusted year-to-date production through April 16 totaled 26,416,000 net tons, at an average utilization rate of 80.2%. That’s down 1.0% from the same period last year when production was 26,672,000 net tons, though the utilization rate was lower at 78.0%, AISI said.

Production was up in four out of five regions last week. The Great Lakes posted the largest per ton and percentage gain week-on-week, up 23,000 net tons or 4.3%, followed by the Midwest (+3,000 or 1.4%), the South (+5,000 or 0.7%), and the West (+1,000 or 1.3%) districts. The Northeast posted a 5,000 net ton loss WoW.

Below is the production by region for the week ending April 16: Northeast, 164,000 tons; Great Lakes, 562,000 tons; Midwest, 213,000 tons; South, 750,000 tons; and West, 77,000 tons – for a total of 1,766,000 net tons, up 27,000 net tons from the prior week.

WeeklyRawSteelProd Wk16

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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