US crude steel production reached 1.2mn nt (1.1mn mt) with a capability utilization rate of 53.8pc for the week ended May 30, 2020, according to the America Iron and Steel Institute (AISI). Production increased 1.3pc from the prior week but decreased by 35.9pc compared to the same week last year.
Compared to the same week in 2019, capacity utilization decreased 27 percentage points from 80.8pc a year ago, but increased 0.6 percentage points from 53.2pc last week.
Capacity declined by 705,000nt compared to the same week in 2018 as BOFs have been idled and smaller mills closed. Of the blast furnaces that are still active, an operating level in the mid-50pc level is a far cry from 80pc-levels the industry has claimed are necessary for long-term survival.
Steel production dipped below the 80pc marker in the week of March 21, 2020 and reached its lowest point this year at 51.1pc capacity utilization in the week of May 2.
Adjusted year-to-date America produced 34.mn nt, at a capability utilization rate of 69.3pc through May 30, 2020. That is down 16.1pc from the 40.9mn nt during the same period last year, when the capability utilization rate was 81.4 percent. Capacity utilization decreased by 12.1 percentage points.
Regionally, the Northeast comprised 8.3pc of total US crude steel production last week, Great Lakes 33.7pc, Midwest 10pc, South 43.5pc, and West 4.6pc. The two largest segments, Great Lakes and South, produced 77.2pc of all US crude steel during the week.
Compared to the prior week, the Northeast increased production by 7.5pc to 100,000nt while Midwest decreased it by 4.7pc to 121,000nt. The Great Lakes increased output by 2.8pc to 406,000nt this week compared to last week with the South also increasing production marginally by 1.4pc to 524,000nt.
Compared to preliminary production volumes published in the same week last year, crude steel output in Northeast declined by 47.9pc, Great Lakes decreased by 44.2pc, Midwest decreased by 41.5pc, South decreased by 24.3 pc and West slipped by 25.7pc.