Steel production rises by 24,000 tons in Great Lakes states

2013-09-04T10:15:00Z 2013-09-04T16:30:27Z Steel production rises by 24,000 tons in Great Lakes statesJoseph S. Pete joseph.pete@nwi.com, (219) 933-3316 nwitimes.com
September 04, 2013 10:15 am  • 

Raw steel production in the country's Great Lakes region was about 628,000 tons in the week ending Aug. 31, according to an American Iron and Steel Institute estimate.

Production rose by about 24,000 tons, or about 3.9 percent from the week prior, breaking a streak of six straight weeks that steel production had 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 705,000 tons last week, down slightly from 707,000 tons a week earlier.

Total domestic raw steel production last week was about 1.86 million tons, roughly the same as what it was a week prior.

U.S. steel mills had a capacity utilization rate of 77.5 percent last week, which is down from 77.7 percent a week earlier. The capacity utilization rate had been 76.3 percent at the same time last year.

So far this year, domestic steel producers have had a capacity utilization rate of 77.2 percent, which is down from 77.8 during the same period in 2012.

Domestic mills have produced an estimated 62.8 million tons of steel this year, down 4.4 percent from the same period last year. The mills had made about 65.7 million tons of steel by Aug. 31 in 2012.

Steel imports inched up by 0.6 percent in July, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute. The United States has imported 18.2 million tons of steel so far this year, which is down 11 percent from the same time last year.

Hot-rolled sheet imports from foreign competitors were up by 19 percent in July, as compared to June. Overall, imports account for about 23 percent of the market share so far this year.

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