US crude steel production declined to 1.67mn nt (1.5mn mt) with a capacity utilization rate of 71.6pc during the week ended March 28,2020.
Production declined by 9.8pc from the previous week and 12.7pc compared to the same week in 2019. Falling below 1.7mn nt of production hasn’t occurred since the first week of January 2018, when production and utilization were 1.65mn nt and 70.7pc, respectively. During the third week of January 2018, production was at 1.69mn nt with 72.6pc utilization.
In 2017, production below 1.7mn nt occurred six times, including during the first week of January (1.68mn nt), the first week of February (1.66mn nt), the first week of April (1.69mn nt, and for three weeks in December (1.67mn nt, 1.7mn nt, and 1.64mn nt).
The steep production decline is the consequence of remote working orders that have been implemented to curb further spread of the COVID-19, and which have affected steel supply chains both domestic and internationally.
By region and compared to the previous week, the West increased production by 2pc to 60,000nt during the week ended March 28,2020; the Midwest’s output decreased by 15.8pc to 155,000nt; while the South and Great lakes both recorded declines of 10.2pc and achieved production of 645,000nt and 608,000nt, respectively. The Northeast decreased by 5.6pc compared to the week prior at 202,000nt. The Great Lakes and Southern regions together encompassed 67.66pc of total US crude steel production.
Compared to a year ago when production was 1.91mn nt, all regions declined, but the Western region decreased the most, by 21.1pc, followed by the Midwest by 17.1pc, the Great Lakes by 15.0pc, the South by 11pc, and the Northeast by 3.8pc.
The raw steel production tonnage provided in this report is estimated by AISI. The figures have been compiled using weekly production tonnage provided from 50% of domestic producers, combined with monthly production data for the remainder.