Great Lakes steel production rebounds by 17,000 tons

2014-06-24T12:00:00Z 2014-06-24T18:17:05Z Great Lakes steel production rebounds by 17,000 tonsJoseph S. Pete joseph.pete@nwi.com, (219) 933-3316 nwitimes.com

Raw steel production in the country's Great Lakes region jumped up to 665,000 tons last week.

Overall U.S. output rose by 1.6 percent in the week that ended Saturday, according to an American Iron and Steel Institute estimate.

Local production increased by 17,000 tons, or 2.6 percent.

Output fell sharply a week ago after ArcelorMittal idled the No. 7 furnace at ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor East in East Chicago for a major maintenance project. The No. 8 blast furnace at Gary Works also went down after a disruption.

Most of the raw steel production in the Great Lakes region takes place in Indiana and the Chicago area.

Production in the Southern District, typically the country's second biggest steel-producing region, rose to 657,000 tons, up from 638,000 tons a week earlier.

Total domestic raw steel production last week was about 1.88 million tons, up from 1.85 million tons a week earlier.

U.S. steel mills had a capacity utilization rate of 78.2 percent last week, up from 76.9 percent a week earlier. The capacity utilization rate had been 76.1 percent at the same time last year.

Domestic mills have produced an estimated 45.1 million tons of steel this year, a 0.1 percent decrease from the 45.2 million tons produced during the same period last year.

U.S. steel exports shot up by 7.4 percent in May over April, while imports of finished steel products rose by 6.4 percent, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute.

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