Raw steel production by US mills edged up last week after declining the prior two weeks. Despite the increase, utilization remained below the 80% mark for the 21st consecutive week, according to the latest data from the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI).
Domestic steel output was 1,630,000 net tons during the week ending Dec. 3, up 0.3% from the week prior but 9.5% lower than the 1,801,000 tons produced during the same week last year.
Capability utilization was 73.1% last week, up 0.3 percentage points from 72.8% the previous week and down 8.5 percentage points from the same period one year ago when the rate was 81.6%.
Adjusted year-to-date production through Dec. 3 now stands at 82,729,000 tons, with an overall utilization rate of 78.3%. Production was 5.5% below the same period last year when it was 87,505,000 tons and capability utilization was at 81.3%, AISI said.
Output declined in three out of the five regions last week. Production fell week over week in the Northeast (-4,000 tons, or -2.8%), the South (-6,000 tons, or -0.9%), and the West (-2,000 tons, or -2.8%). It increased in the Midwest (+9,000 tons, or +4.8%) and the Great Lakes (+8,000 tons, or +1.5%).
Production by region for the week ending Dec. 3 was as follows: Northeast, 139,000 tons; Great Lakes, 541,000 tons; Midwest, 196,000 tons; South, 684,000 tons; and West, 70,000 tons — for a total of 1,630,000 tons, up 5,000 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.
By David Schollaert, David@SteelMarketUpdate.com
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