The US raw steel weekly capability utilization level fell below the 80% level last week for the first time since January, dipping to to 79.5% from 80.5% the previous week.
The dip below the 80% utilization level came during the same week US mills announced sheet price increases of $40/st. The list price increases were also the first since January.
Production declined 1.2% to 1.85 million st during the week ended June 29, down from 1.87 million st produced the previous week, according to data released Monday by the American Iron and Steel Institute.
Last week’s production was up 2% compared with the same week a year ago, when capability utilization was at 77.4% and production totaled 1.82 million st.
The AISI calculated adjusted year-to-date production at 48.6 million st, with a capability utilization rate of 81.2%. This is up 5.4% from the same period last year, when the utilization rate was 76.7% on 46.1 million st of output.
Last week’s production totaled 214,000 st in the Northeast; 697,000 st in the Great Lakes region; 201,000 st in the Midwest; 672,000 st in the Southern district, and 67,000 st in the Western region.
The weekly raw steel production volume AISI provides is estimated. The figures are compiled from weekly production data provided by 50% of domestic producers combined with monthly production data for the remainder.