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

2013-07-23T08:00:00Z 2013-07-23T15:54:21Z Steel production falls 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 was about 691,000 tons in the week ending July 20, according to an American Iron and Steel Institute estimate.

Production fell by 6,000 tons from the week prior, an decrease of about 0.8 percent. 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 688,000 tons last week, up from 657,000 tons a week earlier.

Total domestic raw steel production last week was 1.9 million tons, up slightly from 1.88 million tons the week prior.

U.S. steel mills had a capacity utilization rate of 79.5 percent last week, which is up from 78.5 percent a week earlier. The capacity utilization rate had been 73.3 percent at the same time last year.

So far this year, domestic steel producers have had a capacity utilization rate of 77 percent, which is down 1 percentage point from the same period in 2012.

Domestic mills have produced an estimated 53.4 million tons of steel this year, down 5.1 percent from the same period last year. The mills had made about 56.3 million tons of steel by July 20 in 2012.

Steel exports increased by 11.6 percent in May over April. Domestic mills exported 1.163 million tons in May, as compared to 1.041 million tons in April.

Despite the uptick, steel exports are still down by 11.3 percent so far this year.

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