According to a recent American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) report, the U.S. steel industry operated at a capacity utilization rate of 81.0% for the year through Aug. 24.
Need buying strategies for steel? Request your two-month free trial of MetalMiner’s Outlook
Adjusted year-to-date steel production reached 63.55 million tons, according to AISI, up 4.4% from the 60.86 million tons produced during the same period in 2018. The 2019 capacity utilization rate of 81.0% marked an increase from the 77.3% posted during the same time frame in 2018.
In a more constricted window, production for the week ending Aug. 24, production totaled 1.88 million tons at a capacity utilization rate of 80.6%, up 0.9% from the 1.86 million tons and 79.4% posted during the same week in 2018.
Meanwhile, production for the week ending Aug. 24, 2019, increased 1.1% from the previous week, when production reached 1.86 million net tons at a capacity utilization rate of 79.8%.
Broken down by region for the week ending Aug. 24, 2019, production totaled:
- Northeast: 202,000 tons
- Great Lakes: 681,000 tons
- Midwest: 204,000 tons
- Southern: 719,000 tons
- Western: 71,000 tons
Meanwhile, according to another AISI report, U.S. imports of steel for the year through July fell 10.6% on a year-over-year basis. Imports totaled 18.67 million tons through the first seven months of the year. Annualized steel imports come in at an estimated 32.0 million tons, which would mark a 5.1% decline compared with 2018 import levels.
However, in July, imports totaled 3.03 million tons, marking a 48.3% increase compared with the previous month.
Finished steel import market share came in at an estimated 19% in July and stands at 21% for the first seven months of the year.
MetalMiner’s Annual Outlook provides 2019 buying strategies for carbon steel
According to the AISI report, individual steel products with notable increases in import levels in July compared with June included: cut lengths plates (up 55%), line pipe (up 29%), hot rolled bars (up 24%), plates in coils (up 23%), standard pipe (up 21%), hot rolled sheets (up 19%), sheets and strip hot dipped galvanized (18%), wire rods (up 16%), mechanical tubing (up 16%), sheets and strip all other metallic coatings (up 11%), and heavy structural shapes (up 10%).