Domestic steel mills operated at a 57 percent capacity utilization rate for the week ending April 18, according to the American Iron & Steel Institute. That compares to an 81.3 percent utilization rate during the same period a year ago and a 56.1 percent rate for the week ending April 11.
Domestic steel production was 1,277,000 net tons for the week ending April 18, down 32.5 percent from 1,892,000 net tons during the same time frame in 2019.
Year-to-date domestic steel production through April 18 was 27,600,000 net tons, down 6.6 percent from the 29,557,000 net tons produced during the same period in 2019.
A nationwide economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 virus has slowed demand for steel products in the automobile, energy and construction sectors. As a result, several domestic steelmakers have idled blast furnaces and iron ore pellet producing operations.