US crude steel production increased by 5.2pc to 1.2mn nt (1.1mn mt) for the week ending May 9, 2020, compared to 1.1mn nt last week. Capacity utilization increased by 2.6 percentage points from 51.1pc last week to 53.7pc this week according to the American Iron and Steel Association (AISI) data.
The latest production rate, the data indicated, represents a 36pc decline from the same week a year ago. Capacity utilization in the US has slid below 80pc for the eight week in a row because of production shutdowns and weak finished steel product demand due to COVID-19 related health measures.
The South continued leading production during the week with 525,000nt or 43.4pc of total US crude steel production followed by Great Lakes with 398,000nt or 33.1pc.
The South increased production by 10pc or 49,000nt in the past week compared to 476,000nt the previous week. The Northeast decreased production by 14pc to 94,000nt from 109,000nt in the prior week. West Coast, which produces limited steel, increased production by 76pc as volumes increased to 65,000nt from 37,000nt the previous week. Midwest remained unchanged at near 122,000nt in the week of May 9 compared to the previous week.
The two largest US steelmaking regions changed position in total steel contribution. The South produced 43.4pc of total US crude steel last week rising from 37.5pc in the same week last year while the Great Lakes’ contribution decreased to 33.1pc most recently from 38.1pc in the same week last year.
Compared to the same week last year, the Northeast decreased its production by 53.2pc, Great Lakes fell by 45.9pc, Midwest declined by 36pc, South declined by 27.3pc and West contracted by 16.7pc.
Adjusted year-to-date production through May 9 weakened by 12.4pc to 30.859mn nt and a capacity utilization of 72.2pc compared to 35,218mn nt in the same period last year when capacity utilization was 81.4pc.