Raw steel production by US mills continued its seesaw trend last week, edging down after inching up the week prior. Domestic capacity utilization slipped to 80.5% while mill production totaled 1,758,000 net tons in the week ending June 18, the American Iron and Steel Institute reported.
US output was down 1.5% versus the week prior and 4.7% below the same year-ago period when production was 1,844,000 net tons. Mill capacity utilization last week was 1.2 percentage points below the prior week and 2.5 percentage points below the same period one year ago when utilization was 83%.
Adjusted year-to-date production through June 18 totaled 42,416,000 net tons, at an average utilization rate of 80.7%. That’s 1.8% below the same period last year, when production was 43,206,000 net tons, though the utilization rate was lower at 79.4%, AISI said.
Production fell in four of five regions last week, the sole exception being a 2.5% (+5,000 tons) gain in the Midwest. The week-on-week (WoW) decrease was led by a 13,000-ton (-2.2%) drop in the Great Lakes, followed by the South (-11,000 tons, or -1.5%), West (-4,000 tons, or -5.6%), and the Northeast (-3,000 tons, or -1.8%).
Below is the production by region for the week ending June 18: Northeast, 165,000 tons; Great Lakes, 587,000 tons; Midwest, 206,000 tons; South, 742,000 tons; and West, 67,000 tons – for a total of 1,758,000 net tons, down 26,000 net tons from the prior week.
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 US 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@SteelMarketUpdate.com
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