Steel Products Prices North America

Capacity Utilization Lowest in Nearly Two Years: AISI

Written by David Schollaert

Raw steel production by US mills slipped again last week, pushing utilization to its lowest rate since the week ended Dec. 26, 2020. Capability utilization has now remained below the 80% mark for 16 straight weeks.

Domestic steel output was 1,663,000 net tons in the week ending Oct. 29, its lowest level since it totaled 1,650,000 net tons on Jan. 2, 2021. Capability utilization was 74.5% last week — down from 74.8% the previous week, according to the latest data from the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI).

Output was down 0.4% from the week prior and down 9.4% from 1,836,000 tons during the same week last year. Mill capacity utilization last week was 0.3 percentage points below the prior week and 8.7 percentage points below the same period one year ago when the rate was 83.2%.

Adjusted year-to-date production through Oct. 29 totaled 74,707,000 tons, with an overall utilization rate of 79%. Production was 4.7% below the same period last year when it was 78,392,000 tons and capability utilization was at 81.2%, AISI said.

Output fell in three out of the five regions last week: The South (-5,000 tons, or -0.7%), the Midwest (-3,000 tons, or -1.7%), and West (-3,000 tons, or -4.3%). Production rose in the Northeast (+2,000 tons, or 1.4%) and the Great Lakes (+3,000 tons, or 0.5%).

Production by region for the week ending Oct. 29 was as follows: Northeast,142,000 tons; Great Lakes, 556,000 tons; Midwest, 176,000 tons; South, 721,000 tons; and West, 66,000 tons — for a total of 1,663,000 tons, down 6,000 tons from the prior week.

WeeklyRawSteelProd Wk42

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,

David Schollaert

Read more from David Schollaert

Latest in Steel Products Prices North America