Every time someone tells me that the steel and ferroalloy markets have turned the corner, I check with the latest AISI figures. In the week ended Oct. 1, 2016, US raw steel production was 1,611,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 68.9%. Production was 1,687,000 net tons in the week ending Oct. 1, 2015 while the capability utilization was 70.5%. The current week production represents a 4.5% decrease from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending Oct. 1, 2016 is up 0.4% from the previous week ending Sept. 24, 2016 when production was 1,605,000 net tons and the rate of capability utilization was 68.6%.
Adjusted year-to-date production through October 1, 2016 was 67,178,000 net tons, at a capability utilization rate of 71.8%. That is down 1.8% from the 68,434,000 net tons during the same year ago period when the capability utilization rate was 72.1%.
Capability for the third quarter 2016 is approximately 30.7-million tons versus 31.4-million tons for the same 2015 period last year and 30.4-million tons for the second quarter of 2016.