Steel Products Prices North America

Weekly Raw Steel Production Dips Again

Written by David Schollaert

Raw steel production by US mills slipped last week, shrinking for the second straight week and keeping mill utilization rates below the 80% mark for just the second time since early April. Domestic capacity utilization fell to 78.9%—its lowest mark year-to-date—while mill production totaled 1,738,000 net tons in the week ending July 16, reported the American Iron and Steel Institute.

US output was down 0.6% versus the week prior, and down 6.7% versus the same year-ago period when production was 1,862,000 net tons. Mill capacity utilization last week was 0.4 percentage points below the prior week and 5.9 percentage points below the same period one year ago when utilization was 84.4%.

Adjusted year-to-date production through July 16 totaled 49,354,000 net tons, at an average utilization rate of 80.4%. That’s 2.5% below the same period last year when production was 50,623,000 net tons, though the utilization rate was lower at 80.1%, AISI said.

Production rose in just one of five regions last week—a 1.2% (+2,000 net tons) increase in the Northeast. The increase was offset by declines in the Great Lakes, Midwestern, Southern, and Western regions. The Midwest and West both saw the largest tonnage declines at 4,000 net tons week-on-week (WoW), though the West’s decline was of greater overall impact, a 5.5% loss versus a 1.9% loss in the Midwest. Declines were followed by the Great Lakes (-3,000 net tons or -0.5%) and the South (-1,000 net tons or -0.1%).

Production by region for the week ending July 16 was: Northeast, 166,000 tons; Great Lakes, 574,000 tons; Midwest, 205,000 tons; South, 724,000 tons; and West, 69,000 tons – for a total of 1,738,000 net tons, down 10,000 net tons from the prior week.

WeeklyRawSteelProd Wk29

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. Capability for the first quarter 2022 was approximately 28.3 million tons.

By David Schollaert,

David Schollaert

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