Steel production falls 4,000 tons in Great Lakes states

2012-12-04T12:00:00Z 2012-12-04T16:33:04Z Steel production falls 4,000 tons in Great Lakes statesBowdeya Tweh bowdeya.tweh@nwi.com, (219) 933-3316 nwitimes.com
December 04, 2012 12:00 pm  • 

Raw steel production in the country's Great Lakes region was 661,000 tons in the week that ended Saturday, according to estimates from the American Iron and Steel Institute.

Production was down 4,000 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 617,000 tons during the period that ended Dec. 1, up from about 552,000 tons a week earlier.

Domestic mills produced about 1.82 million tons of steel last week, up 0.1 percent from the same period in 2011.

U.S. steel mills had a capacity utilization rate of 73.6 percent last week, which is up from a 71.4 percent production rate a week earlier.

An estimated 89.9 million tons of steel has been produced so far in 2012 at domestic steel mills, compared to about 87.3 million tons made through the comparable 2011 period.

Supply and purchasing executives told the Institute for Supply Management in a survey that economic activity in the manufacturing sector contracted in November, following two months of modest expansion, according to the data released Monday. The ISM's purchasing managers' index also fell 2.2 percentage points from October to 49.5 percent, which was the lowest level for the index since July 2009.

The index is a composite of seasonally adjusted data for new orders, production, employment, supplier deliveries, and inventories. A reading below 50 percent indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally declining and the distance above or below 50 relates to the strength of the expansion or decline.

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