Steel production rises by 16,000 tons in Great Lakes states

2013-12-10T12:00:00Z 2013-12-10T17:57:37Z Steel production rises by 16,000 tons in Great Lakes statesJoseph S. Pete joseph.pete@nwi.com, (219) 933-3316 nwitimes.com
December 10, 2013 12:00 pm  • 

Raw steel production in the country's Great Lakes region rose to 708,000 tons in the week that ended Saturday, according to an American Iron and Steel Institute estimate.

Production rose by about 16,000 tons, or about 2.3 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 was estimated at 574,000 tons, down from 593,000 tons a week earlier.

Total domestic raw steel production last week was nearly 1.83 million tons, which was up from 1.81 million tons a week earlier.

U.S. steel mills had a capacity utilization rate of 76.3 percent last week, up from 75.6 percent a week earlier. The capacity utilization rate had been 71.7 percent at the same time last year.

So far this year, domestic steel producers have had a capacity utilization rate of 77.1 percent, which is up from 75.2 percent during the same period in 2012.

Domestic mills have produced an estimated 90.5 million tons of steel this year, down 1.5 percent from the same period last year. The mills had made about 91.8 million tons of steel by Dec. 7, 2012.

In September, steel exports declined by 10.9 percent., as compared to August, according to the American Institute for International Steel. Exports are down by 8.1 percent so far this year.

"Steel exports throughout 2013 for most months have reflected a weaker international market, and so the disappointing results for September might have been a continuation of that trend, or affected to some degree by the government shutdown," said Richard Chriss, executive director of the American Institute of International Steel. "International economic conditions indicate that the record year for American exports of steel in 2012 is not likely to be bested in 2013."

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