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Steel output starts June with a lull

Output in the U.S. fell week-on-week and year-on-year, according to AISI.

June 7, 2022

Steelmakers in the United States produced 0.9 percent less steel in the week ending June 4 compared with the prior week, according to the Washington-based American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI).

In addition to the week-to-week decline, the weekly output of 1.78 million tons represented a 3.2 percent drop from the 1.84 million tons produced a year ago in the week ending June 4, 2021.

Year-to-date figures compiled by AISI show production through June 4 stands at 38,874,000 tons. That is down 1.6 percent from the 39,517,000 tons made during the same period last year.

Thus far in 2022, mills have been operating at an average capability utilization (capacity) rate of 80.6 percent. Despite the lower output figure, that is up from the 78.8 percent capacity rate averaged in the first five months and four days of 2021.

AISI has not published steel import figures for this May, but it has reported a trend of increased steel imports so far this year and over the course of the previous 12 months.

In the first four months of this year, total and finished steel imports are up 21 percent and 45 percent, respectively, compared with the first four months of 2021, says the association.

In the 12-month period from May 2021 to April 2022, total and finished steel imports are up 51.3 percent and 55.3 percent, respectively, versus the prior 12-month period, says AISI. Finished steel import market share was an estimated 27 percent this April and is estimated at 25 percent during the first four months of 2022.