Steel Output Hits Summer Speed Bump

The Washington-based American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) says raw steel production in the United States in the week ending Sept. 4, 2021, checked in at less than 1.87 million tons, which is down 0.4 percent from the previous week when production surpassed 1.87 million tons.
In the first two weeks of August weekly raw steel production in the U.S. also fell by 0.2 percent compared with the week before.
Despite a stabilization or mild downtrend in domestic steel output, the sector remains well ahead of its pace in 2020, when COVID-19 disruptions caused mill output to plummet.
Production one year ago in the week ending Sept. 4, 2020, was 1.51 million tons, representing 23.5 percent less output compared with the comparable week this year.
In early September 2020, the mill capability utilization (capacity) rate was 67.4 percent, compared with 84.5 percent in early September this year.
Year-to-date production through Sept. 4, 2021, is 63.9 million tons with an average capacity rate of 80.6 percent. Output is up 20.1 percent from the 53.2 million tons made in the first eight months of 2020, when the average capacity rate was 66.6 percent.
Globally, steel industry analysts continue to monitor the impact of a summer steelmaking slowdown in China, and whether it represents a reversal of China’s multiple decades of steel output growth.