As the domestic steel industry sees annual gains in production, stakeholders need to be sure they’re investing in the best products to keep their facilities running smoothly.
Despite growing trade tensions around the world, American steel production has been on the rise. In fact, research from the American Iron and Steel Institute found that production is up 6.6% from this time last year.
Adjusted year-to-date production up through May 11 of this year reached 35,525,000 net tons, hitting a capacity utilization rate of 81.8%. At the same time last year, these figures came in at 33,417,000 net tons and 76.6%, respectively.
While these statistics are welcome news for steel producers across the country, stakeholders need to be sure that they’re investing in the right solutions to accommodate increased production. A surge of activity at steel production facilities may be good for business, but it presents challenges to effective dust control, road maintenance, and other infrastructural concerns that are part and parcel of responsible industrial oversight.
Steel Production Sees Marked Gains
Production in the domestic steel industry is up across the board, with capacity utilization rate in particular looking strong. American steel mills have been running at a capacity utilization rate of 81.7% through early May; a rate of 83.4% earlier in 2019 was the highest level reached since just before the global financial crisis in 2008.
For the week ending May 11, AISI reports that production across the country hit 201,000 tons in the Northeast, 735,000 tons in the Great Lakes, 191,000 tons in the Midwest, 722,000 tons in the South, and 78,000 in the West. The total figure comes in at 1,927,000 tons — a strong gain from this time last year.
The State of the Steel Industry
A number of factors are responsible for the domestic steel industry’s recent gains. For starters, the Trump Administration’s prioritization of heavy industry in the U.S. boosted stocks in the wake of the 2016 election. This confidence, along with a boom in global construction, has allowed domestic steel companies to channel rising demand.
While there was concern that the President’s trade policies might damage domestic heavy industry, it has evened out imbalances with China’s surging output. The long-term effects of these policies merit further study and close attention, but, for the time being, domestic steel producers are doing well.
How Midwest Can Help
These gains are good for business, especially as heavy industry lagged in the wake of the Great Recession, but surging demand presents its own challenges. As steel facilities experience heightened activity, it’s imperative that they keep worksite dust under control and ensure that access roads are in good condition. Thankfully, Midwest Industrial Supply, Inc. has a long and successful history of helping steel producers with their dust control needs.
Whether you need occasional treatment of your worksite or you’re looking to engage a managed services provider for around-the-clock support, Midwest has you covered. Our turnkey approach to dust control can help teams cut maintenance costs, boost efficiency, and help you meet compliance mandates. To get started, reach out to Midwest today.