Over the holidays, domestic raw steel production increased for the third consecutive week, according to a new report from Majestic Steel.
U.S. mills produced an estimated 1,876k tons at an 81.1 percent utilization rate, up from 1,866k tons and an 80.7 percent rate previously, and production increased in three of the five regions. From the report, "the largest increase (in tons) comes out of the Great Lakes region. Production from the Great Lakes region climbed from 681k tons to 704k tons. Raw steel production ended the year at 99,534k tons, up 5.4 percent from 2018 raw steel production of 94,435k tons."
In November, total carbon steel imports dropped sharply, the lowest monthly in more than a decade. The report reads:
Total carbon steel imports came in at 1.130 million tons, down from 1.630 million tons in October. Total carbon flat rolled imports declined as well, sliding 19.9 percent from October to 374,572 tons. Flat rolled imports declined on a year-over-year basis as well, sliding 34.4 percent from 570,816 tons in November 2018. All three flat rolled products saw sharp year-over-year declines, with all three seeing at least a 33 percent drop. Year-to-date carbon flat rolled imports are now 5.300 million tons through November, down 25.0 percent from the same time frame last year.
However, total construction spending continued to climb in November for the fifth consecutive month. Total construction spending is (at a $1.324 trillion rate) is up 0.6 percent from October and up 4.1 percent from November. The increase in total spending comes out of the residential construction sector, climbing from 1.8 percent in October to a $543.1 billion rate. On the other hand, nonresidential spending slipped in November from 0.3 percent to a $781.1 billion rate, according to the report. "Despite the m/m slide, non-residential spending was up 5.1 percent from November 2019."
More information on spot ore pricing and zinc pricing in the full report.