US crude steel production rose to 1.907mn nt (1.730mn mt) in the week ending Feb 15, up 0.4pc from the prior week, but down by 0.5pc from the same week a year ago.
After maintaining a capacity utilization above 82pc for five weeks, capacity utilization during the week was at 81.8pc in a trend where it has remained in the 81-81.8pc range for two straight weeks, according to the American Iron and Steel institute (AISI) data.
Adjusted year-to-date the US produced 12.575mn nt of steel through February 15, 2020, at a capability utilization rate of 82.1pc, up 1.4pc from 12.395mn nt at a capability utilization rate of 81.3pc during the same period last year. At an estimated capacity of 15.317mn nt from Jan 1 through Feb 15 this year’s capacity is trending higher by 71,000nt compared to last year’s 15.246mn nt in the same period.
Through the first seven weeks in 2020, the regions have predominantly maintained the same percentage contribution. This week, the North East produced 0.233mnnt(12.2pc), Great Lakes manufactured 0.684mn nt (35.9pc), Midwest made 0.202mn nt (11.0pc), South produced 0.717mnnt(37.6pc), and West made 0.071mn nt (3.7pc) of steel. Compared to the same week a year ago, the Great Lakes constituted 35.1pc of the total crude steel production at 0.661mn nt while the South trended higher at 38.5pc of the total with 0.726mn nt.
The AISI weekly figures are compiled from weekly production tonnage provided from 50pc of the domestic producers combined with monthly production data for the remainder. Capability for Q1 2020 is approximately 30.3mn nt, or higher by 0.4mn nt or 1.3pc, compared to 29.9mn nt for Q1 2019.