Steel production rolls along, albeit slower than hoped

Jun 30, 2012 | 07:00 PM | AMM staff

Tags  raw steel production, ArcelorMittal, Nucor Corp., Dieter Hoeppli, David Sumoski, U.S. Steel, Michael S. Williams, P.S. Venkataramanan André B. Gerdau Johannpeter

U.S. raw steel output has just had its best five months since the beginning of the Great Recession in fall 2008. January, February, March and April were all months of growth, while May dipped just slightly, according to American Iron and Steel Institute figures. Raw production exceeded 1.9 million tons every week, the longest stretch of output at that level since September 2008, and for the first time in nearly four years the weekly production capability utilization rate topped the 80-percent mark.

What this means is that the U.S. steel industry may finally be returning to normal, although perhaps not as quickly or definitively as many had hoped. 

“While I would say every month is better than the previous month, we’re nowhere near 2007 levels of activity and demand,” P.S. Venkataramanan, chief executive officer of Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal SA’s Long Carbon North America operations, said at AISTech, the Association for Iron and Steel Technology conference and exposition. “The meat of the whole business is commercial construction. Public spending has been nonexistent. We’re not seeing schools, we’re not seeing bridges (and) we’re not seeing major projects coming back.” ....





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