According to the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), U.S. steel mills have increased their steel production total by 6.8% for the year to date through April 13 compared with the same period in 2018.
Adjusted year-to-date production through April 13 reached 28.0 million net tons, at a capability utilization rate of 81.9%.
Output during the aforementioned period marked a 6.8% increase from the 26.3 million net tons during the same period last year (when the capability utilization rate was 76.4%).
Meanwhile, for the single week ending on April 13, raw steel production hit 1.9 million net tons — up 7.6% from the same week in 2018 — at a capability utilization rate of 82.3%. Production for the same week in 2018 reached 1.8 million net tons at capability utilization rate of 76.0%.
Production for the week ending April 13, 2019, was down 0.7% from the previous week ending April 6, 2019 when production was 1.9 million net tons at a capability utilization rate of 82.8%.
By region, the Southern region led the way in raw steel production for the week ending April 13:
- Northeast: 184,000 tons
- Great Lakes: 725,000 tons
- Midwest: 183,000 tons
- Southern: 748,000 tons
- Western: 75,000 tons
Steel production has steadily grown in the year-plus since President Donald Trump opted to impose tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum. In the leadup to the tariffs, the Department of Commerce identified 80% as its goal for the steel sector’s capacity utilization rate, as that level is considered to be an indicator of industry health.