The US produced 1.898mn nt (1.722mn mt) of raw steel in the first week of 2020, hitting a capacity utilization of 82pc for the first time since May 2019.
Data from the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) show production increased by 1.2pc from 1.876mn nt in the prior week and was 2pc higher than 1.861mn nt in prior year period.
From the prior week, all districts increased production with the South lifting output by 5pc to 698,000nt. Great Lakes was the only region where production decreased by 5pc to 666,000nt. Compared to prior year period, the Great Lakes region encountered the largest volume decline of 53,000nt or 7.4pc.
In the second week of May 2019, the US produced 1.927mn nt (1.749mn mt) of raw steel at a utilization of 82.8pc during a nine-week run from March to May in which the country achieved an 82pc or higher capacity utilization.
Raw steel production data released by AISI is based on weekly production tonnage provided by 50pc of the domestic producers combined with monthly production data for the remainder.