Steel production drops by 6,000 tons in Great Lakes states

2013-10-01T07:00:00Z 2013-10-31T14:44:30Z Steel production drops by 6,000 tons in Great Lakes statesJoseph S. Pete joseph.pete@nwi.com, (219) 933-3316 nwitimes.com

Raw steel production in the country's Great Lakes region slipped to about 648,000 tons in the week that ended Saturday, according to an American Iron and Steel Institute estimate.

Production fell by about 6,000 tons, or about 0.9 percent from the week prior, marking the second straight week of decline. Most of the raw steel production in the Great Lakes region takes place in Indiana and the Chicago area.

Production in the Southern District was estimated at 661,000 tons last week, down from 685,000 tons a week earlier.

Total domestic raw steel production last week was about 1.85 million tons, down from 1.88 million a week prior. Steelmakers made about 5.8 percent more steel last week than they did over the same period last year.

U.S. steel mills had a capacity utilization rate of 77.3 percent last week, which is down from 78.3 percent a week earlier. The capacity utilization rate had been 70.4 percent at the same time last year.

So far this year, domestic steel producers have had a capacity utilization rate of 77.2 percent, which is up from 77 percent during the same period in 2012.

Domestic mills have produced an estimated 70.3 million tons of steel this year, down 3.6 percent from the same period last year. The mills had made about 72.9 million tons of steel by Sept. 21, 2012.

Steel imports rose 13.9 percent in August over July. So far this year, total steel imports are 21.1 million tons, or about 9 percent less than during the same period in 2012. Reinforcing bars posted the biggest increase in August, raising 117 percent as compared to July.

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