Steel production falls 19,000 tons in Great Lakes states

2013-05-01T07:00:00Z 2013-05-01T16:42:05Z Steel production falls 19,000 tons in Great Lakes statesMatt Saltanovitz matthew.saltanovitz@nwi.com, (219) 933-4089 nwitimes.com

Raw steel production in the country's Great Lakes region was 618,000 tons in the week ending April 27, according to estimates from the American Iron and Steel Institute.

Production was down 19,000 tons from the week prior. The majority of raw steel production in the Great Lakes region occurs in Indiana and the Chicago area.

Production in the Southern District was estimated at 702,000 tons last week, up from 688,000 tons a week earlier.

Total domestic raw steel production last week was 1.9 million tons

U.S. steel mills had a capacity utilization rate of 77.9 percent last week, which is up from a 77.6 percent production rate a week earlier. The capacity utilization rate at this time last year was 80.9 percent.

Domestic mills have produced about 31 million tons of steel this year, down 7.6 percent from the same period in 2012. Last year at this time, domestic mills produced about 33.6 million tons of steel.

A safety dispute that idled blast furnaces and some other operations at ArcelorMittal's Burns Harbor mill last week was resolved after two days of intense negotiations between union officials and management.

A union official confirmed that there were steel slabs already produced at Burns Harbor as well as other product in inventory that allowed much of the mill to keep functioning.

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