Steel Products Prices North America

Weekly Raw Steel Production Edged Back Down

Written by Becca Moczygemba

Raw steel production by US mills dropped last week, and capability utilization remains below 80%, where it’s now stayed for 15 straight weeks.

Rate at or above 80% are considered healthy. Recall that utilization below the 80% benchmark contributed to the 2018 implementation of Section 232 tariffs.

Domestic steel output was 1,669,000 net tons in the week ending Oct. 22, while capability utilization was 74.8% — down from the previous week’s 75.7%, according to the latest data from the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI).

Output was down 1.1% from the week prior and down 9.5% from 1,836,000 tons during the same week last year. Mill capacity utilization last week was 0.9 percentage points below the prior week and 9.1 percentage points below the same period one year ago when the rate was 83.2%.

Adjusted year-to-date production through Oct. 22 totaled 73,064,000 tons, with an overall utilization rate of 79.2%. Production was 4.6% below the same period last year when it was 76,556,000 tons and capability utilization was at 81.2%, AISI said.

Output fell in three out of the five regions last week: The South (-13,000 tons, or -1.8%), the Midwest (-5,000 tons, or -2.7%), and the Great Lakes (-3,000 tons, or -0.5%). Production rose in the Northeast (+1,000 tons, or 0.7%) and the West (+1,000 tons, or 1.5%).

Production by region for the week ending Oct. 22 was as follows: Northeast,142,000 tons; Great Lakes, 553,000 tons; Midwest, 179,000 tons; South, 726,000 tons; and West, 69,000 tons — for a total of 1,669,000 tons, down 19,000 tons from the prior week.


WeeklyRawSteelProd Wk43

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.

By Becca Moczygemba,

Becca Moczygemba

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