U.S. steel capacity utilization rate reaches 80.4% before Thanksgiving

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Ferrous Metals

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The U.S. steel sector’s steel capacity utilization reached 80.4% for the week ending Nov. 23, as steel prices have recently showed some signs of bouncing back as we inch closer toward 2020.

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Adjusted year-to-date steel production reached 87.20 million net tons at a capacity utilization rate of 80.3%. Production for the aforementioned period marked a 2.2% year-over-year increase, compared with the 85.29 million tons at a capacity rate of 78.1% produced last year.

Meanwhile, for the week ending Nov. 23, 2019, domestic raw steel production reached 1.86 million net tons at a capacity utilization rate of 80.4%. The weekly production total marked a decline from the 1.90 million net tons produced during the week ending Nov. 23, 2018 (when the capacity utilization rate reached 81.2%).

On a week-over-week basis, production for the week ending Nov. 23, 2019, declined 0.8% from the 1.88 million net tons produced the week ending Nov. 16, 2019.

By region, production totals for the week ending Nov. 23, 2019, totaled:

  • Northeast: 203,000 tons
  • Great Lakes: 673,000 tons
  • Midwest: 193,000 tons
  • Southern: 716,000 tons
  • Western: 76,000 tons

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Steel prices continue slight gains heading toward 2020

Last week, we noted U.S. steel prices had possibly hit a bottom and appeared to start to gain some slight upward momentum as we head closer and closer to 2020.

U.S. HRC is up 4.42% over the last month, reaching $520/st to start the week, according to MetalMiner IndX data. Since mid-November, the U.S. HRC price has moved off of MetalMiner’s short-term support level of $475/st.

U.S. CRC, meanwhile, is up 3.05% over the last 30 days, up to $709/st. Like HRC, CRC has pushed off of MetalMiner’s short-term support level ($671/st).

U.S. HDG’s gains have been more significant, as it starts to approach MetalMiner’s short-term resistance level of $798/st. HDG is up 6.31% over the last 30 days, having reached $792/st early this week.

U.S. plate prices, meanwhile, are bucking the trend — as if often the case with plate.

Plate is down 15.41% over the last 30 days, down to $615/st to start the week.

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