US raw steel production surpassed 80pc capacity utilization for the second straight week reaching 81.1pc utilization as the year comes to a close. According to the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) 1.876mn st (1.702mn mt) of steel was produced across the country during the week ended December 28, 2019.
This is the sixth week in H2 2019 that raw steel production has crossed the 81pc utilization threshold with the most recent one being in mid-November.
While production increased approximately 1pc from 1.861mn (1.689mn mt) during the same period last year, capacity utilization rose by 1.7 points or 2pc compared to the 79.4pc utilization rate a year ago.
Production in the South declined 4pc to 664,000st (602,541mt), but increased in the North East and Great Lakes by 8pc to 223,000st (202,359mt) and 3pc to 704,000st (638,838mt), respectively. Compared to about the same week last year, the North East is the only region that increased 5pc.
Year-to-date, the North East produced 10.889mn st (9.881mn mt) of total US raw steel, followed by Great Lakes at 36.339mn st (32.975mn mt), Midwest at 10.119mn st (9.182mn mt), South at 36.395mn st (33.026mn mt), and the West at 3.893mn st (3.533mn mt).
Year-to-date the capacity utilization raw steel produced across the country is higher by 2 points at 80.2pc compared to 78.2pc in the same period a year ago.