Steel production falls by 14,000 tons in Great Lakes states

2013-08-06T07:00:00Z 2013-08-06T16:13:23Z Steel production falls by 14,000 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 670,000 tons in the week ending Aug. 3, according to an American Iron and Steel Institute estimate.

Production fell by 14,000 tons or about 2 percent from the week prior, marking the third straight week that 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 694,000 tons last week, up from 669,000 tons a week earlier.

Total domestic raw steel production last week was about 1.89 million tons, up from 1.87 million tons the week prior.

U.S. steel mills had a capacity utilization rate of 78.8 percent last week, which is up from 78.1 percent a week earlier. The capacity utilization rate had been 74.6 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 0.9 percentage point from the same period in 2012.

Domestic mills have produced an estimated 57.2 million tons of steel this year, down 4.7 percent from the same period last year. The mills had made about 60 million tons of steel by Aug. 3 in 2012.

Steel imports decreased 14 percent in June over May. Year-to-date steel imports have declined 11 percent to 15.7 million net tons, as compared to the same period in 2012.

Imports have made up 23 percent of the finished steel market market share, both in June and so far this year.

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