Steel production rises by 40,000 tons in Great Lakes states

2013-07-09T09:00:00Z 2013-07-09T15:35:05Z Steel production rises by 40,000 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 695,000 tons in the week ending July 6, according to an American Iron and Steel Institute estimate.

Production rose by 40,000 tons from the week prior, an increase of about 6.1 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 668,000 tons last week, up from 649,000 tons a week earlier.

Total domestic raw steel production last week was 1.87 million tons, up from 1.82 million tons the week prior.

U.S. steel mills had a capacity utilization rate of 78.3 percent last week, which is up from 76.1 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 76.8 percent, which is down 1.2 percentage points from the same period in 2012.

Domestic mills have produced an estimated 49.7 million tons of steel this year, down 5.7 percent from the same period last year. The mills had made about 52.7 million tons of steel by July 6 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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