Steel production falls by 16,000 tons in Great Lakes states

2013-08-15T00:00:00Z Steel production falls by 16,000 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 was about 654,000 tons in the week ending Aug. 10, according to an American Iron and Steel Institute estimate.

Production fell by 16,000 tons or about 2.4 percent from the week prior, marking the fourth straight week steel production has declined in the Great Lakes region. 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 669,000 tons last week, down from 694,000 tons a week earlier.

Total domestic raw steel production last week was about 1.86 million tons, down from 1.89 million tons the week prior.

U.S. steel mills had a capacity utilization rate of 77.7 percent last week, which is down from from 78.8 percent a week earlier. The capacity utilization rate had been 76.3 percent at the same time last year.

So far this year, domestic steel producers have had a capacity utilization rate of 77.1 percent, which is down from 77.8 during the same period in 2012.

Domestic mills have produced an estimated 59.1 million tons of steel this year, down 4.6 percent from the same period last year. The mills had made about 61.9 million tons of steel by Aug. 10 in 2012.

Steel imports fell 6 percent in July, as compared to June. Year-to-date steel imports have dropped by 11 percent to 18.2 million net tons.

Imports have accounted for 23 percent of the finished steel market in the first seven months of the year. South Korea, China and Japan were the bigger exporters in July.

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