Steel production falls by 37,000 tons in Great Lakes states

2013-08-20T10:15:00Z 2013-08-21T17:00:19Z Steel production falls by 37,000 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 617,000 tons in the week ending Aug. 17, according to an American Iron and Steel Institute estimate.

Production fell by 37,000 tons or about 5.6 percent from the week prior, marking the fifth 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 709,000 tons last week, up from 669,000 tons a week earlier.

Total domestic raw steel production last week was about 1.88 million tons, down from 1.86 million tons the week prior.

U.S. steel mills had a capacity utilization rate of 78.4 percent last week, which is up from 76.3 percent a week earlier. The capacity utilization rate had been 77.7 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 60.9 million tons of steel this year, down 4.5 percent from the same period last year. The mills had made about 63.8 million tons of steel by Aug. 17 in 2012.

Steel shipments out of U.S. mills fell 3 percent in June, as compared to May. Year-to-date steel imports have dropped by 5.4 percent to 47.4 million net tons.

Hot-rolled sheet shipments fell by 2 percent, while cold-rolled sheet and hot-dipped galvanized sheets and strip all declined by 5 percent.

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