Steel production increases by 1,000 tons

2014-02-11T12:00:00Z 2014-02-13T16:37:17Z Steel production increases by 1,000 tonsJoseph S. Pete joseph.pete@nwi.com, (219) 933-3316 nwitimes.com
February 11, 2014 12:00 pm  • 

Raw steel production in the country's Great Lakes region inched up to 655,000 tons in the week that ended Saturday, according to an American Iron and Steel Institute estimate.

Production ticked up by about 1,000 tons, or about 0.1 percent, from the week prior. Most of the raw steel production in the Great Lakes region takes place in Indiana and the Chicago area.

Production in the Southern District, typically the country's second biggest steel-producing region, was estimated at 639,000 tons, up from 598,000 tons a week earlier.

Total domestic raw steel production last week was about 1.84 million tons, up from 1.8 million tons a week earlier.

U.S. steel mills had a capacity utilization rate of 76.8 percent last week, down from 75.3 percent a week earlier. The capacity utilization rate had been 78.3 percent at the same time last year.

Domestic mills have produced an estimated 10.1 million tons of steel this year, a 0.7 percent decline from the 10.2 million tons produced during the same period last year.

Steel imports fell 4 percent last year, as compared to 2012, according to an American Institute for International Steel.

"The steel market in 2013 started weak due in part to uncertainty related to the federal government's so-called fiscal crisis, which virtually eliminated the early seasonal improvement for the year," said American Institute for International Steel Executive Director Richard Chriss. "The market in 2013 never caught up after the disappointing start. The good news at this point in 2014 is that the normal seasonality appears to have kicked in as demand and pricing have improved early in 2014. Whether this improved market has staying power at this point is hard to judge, though."

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