The U.S. steel industry posted a capacity utilization rate of 80.7% for the year through Sept. 14, down slightly from the 80.8% utilization rate for the year through Sept. 7, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI).
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AISI reported U.S. steel production for the year to date totaled 68.96 million tons, up 3.8% from the 66.46 million tons produced during the same period in 2018, when capacity utilization checked in at 77.5%.
Meanwhile, for the week ending Sept. 14, 2019, domestic raw steel production reached 1.81 million net tons at a capacity utilization rate of 77.8%, down 2.9% from the same week in 2018, when production was 1.87 million net tons at a capacity utilization rate of 79.6%.
Production for the week ending Sept. 14, 2019, was also down 1.3% from the previous week, when production reached 1.84 million net tons at capacity utilization rate of 78.8%.
Broken down by region, raw steel production for the week ending Sept. 14, 2019, checked in at:
- Northeast: 201,000 tons
- Great Lakes: 692,000 tons
- Midwest: 179,000 tons
- Southern: 668,000 tons
- Western: 71,000 tons
On the demand front, MetalMiner’s Belinda Fuller explained that sluggish demand last month led to a decline in the Raw Steels Monthly Metals Index (MMI).
Prices for U.S. HRC, CRC, HDG and plate traded sideways of late, flattening out after having previously gained some momentum.
However, shredded scrap steel prices surged last month.
“U.S. shredded scrap prices increased by 14.4% to $294/st, reflecting the shift of production methods toward electric arc furnace (EAF),” Fuller explained.
The World Steel Association will release its monthly global crude steel production figures later this month. Last month, the association reported crude steel production increased just 1.7% in July on a year-over-year basis, compared with a 4.6% year-over-year increase the previous month.
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Global crude steel production in July totaled 156.7 million tons.