U.S. steel production up 1.8% in 2019

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Pavel Ignatov/Adobe Stock

According to recent data from the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), U.S. raw steel production for the year through Dec. 21, 2019, had increased 1.8% compared with the same period in 2018.

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Production for the nearly full year in 2019 totaled 94.45 million tons, according to the report, at a capacity utilization rate of 80.1%. The figure marked a 1.8% increase from the 92.78 million tons produced during the same period in 2018 (when the capacity utilization rate hit 78.2%).

Meanwhile, for the week ending Dec. 21, 2019, production totaled 1.87 million tons at a capacity utilization rate of 80.7%. The weekly production total marked a 0.3% increase from the 1.86 million tons produced during the same week in 2018 (when the capacity utilization rate reached 79.4%).

Furthermore, production for the week ending Dec. 21, 2019, marked a 1.2% increase compared with the previous week, when production reached 1.84 million tons at a capacity utilization rate of 79.7%.

The steel industry’s capacity utilization rate reached as high as 81.9% earlier in the year. The U.S. Department of Commerce, when it implemented Section 232 tariffs on imported steel in March 2018, identified the 80% mark as a target to be reached for the domestic steel sector.

Broken down by region, production totals for the week ending Dec. 21, 2019, reached:

  • Northeast: 207,000 tons
  • Great Lakes: 681,000 tons
  • Midwest: 194,000 tons
  • Southern: 695,000 tons
  • Western: 89,000 tons

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U.S. steel prices picked up near the tail end of 2019 after slumping throughout the year.

As of Christmas week, the U.S. HRC price reached $560/st, up 7.69% from the same time the previous month, according to MetalMiner IndX data.

U.S. HDG reached $834/st, up 5.3% on a month-over-month basis.

U.S. CRC ticked up to $754/st, up 6.35% on a month-over-month basis.

The U.S. plate price reached $694/st, up 12.85% from the same time the previous month.

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