Domestic raw steel production was 1.38 million net tons for the week ending Aug. 29, for a capability utilization rate of 61.7 percent, according to figures from the American Iron & Steel Institute, Washington. This is a 24.9 percent reduction from production of 1.84 million net tons for the week ending Aug. 29, 2019, at a capability utilization rate of 79.1 percent.
Production for the last week of August this year represents a 2.1 percent reduction from production during the previous week ending Aug. 22, in which 1.41 million net tons of steel were produced at a capability utilization rate of 63 percent.
Adjusted year-to-date production through Aug. 29 was 51.84 million net tons, and the capability utilization rate was 66 percent, a 20.1 percent decline from the 64.92 million net tons produced during the same period last year at a capability utilization rate of 80.7 percent.
The Southern region led in production at 556,000 net tons. It was followed by the Great Lakes region, which produced 478,000 net tons; the Midwest, which produced 162,000 net tons; the Northeast, which produced 113,000 net tons; and the West, which produced 74,000 net tons.
AISI notes that the capability in the third quarter of this year stood at roughly 29.4 million tons compared with 30.6 million tons for the same period last year and 29.1 million tons for the second quarter of 2020.
In other news, the AISI has reported that the U.S. imported a total of 2.69 million net tons of steel in July based on preliminary Census Bureau data, an increase of 92 percent from June. That total includes 1.37 million net tons (NT) of finished steel, 3.6 percent more than in June.
Through the first seven months of 2020, total and finished steel imports are 15.09 million and 10.01 million net tons, respectively, a decrease of 19.2 percent and 26.1 percent compared with the same period in 2019. Annualized total and finished steel imports in 2020 equal 25.9 million and 17.2 million net tons, which are 7.4 percent and 18.5 percent less, respectively, compared with the same period in 2019. Finished steel import market share was an estimated 20 percent in July and is estimated at 19 percent over the first seven months of 2020, AISI says.
Key finished steel products with a significant increase in imports in July compared with June are reinforcing bars (up 61 percent), tin-free steel (up 61 percent), heavy structural shapes (up 51 percent), tin plate (up 43 percent) and hot-dipped galvanized sheets and strip (up 35 percent), AISI reports. A product with a significant year-to-date increase compared with the same period in 2019 was tin-free steel, which increased 29 percent, the organization adds.