The American Iron & Steel Institute, Washington, reports that U.S. raw steel production totaled 1.542 million net tons for the week ending Oct. 24, while the capability utilization rate reached 69.7 percent, the highest level since the week ended March 28, when the rate was 71.6 percent. This represents a 14.6 percent decrease from the 1.805 million net tons produced in the week ending Oct. 24, 2019, when the capability utilization rate was 78 percent. However, production for the week ending Oct. 24 of this year is a 0.5 percent increase from the previous week ending Oct. 17, 2020, when production was 1.535 million net tons and the rate of capability utilization was 69.4 percent.
Capability for the fourth quarter is approximately 29.1 million tons compared with 30.4 million tons for the same period last year and 29.4 million tons for the third quarter of 2020, the association notes.
Adjusted year-to-date production through Oct. 24 was 64.023 million net tons, while the capability utilization rate was 66.4 percent. That is down 19.3 percent from the 79.350 million net tons produced during the same period last year, when the capability utilization rate was 80.1 percent, AISI says.
The South led in terms of production, churning out 600,000 net tons of raw steel during the week. It was followed by the Great Lakes region, which produced 563,000 net tons; the Midwest, 171,000 tons; the Northeast, 135,000 tons; and the West, 73,000 tons.
The AISI notes that these production figures are estimates compiled from weekly production tonnage figures provided from 50 percent of the domestic producers combined with monthly production data for the remainder.