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Great Lakes steel output falls by 15,000 tons

The Esmark Steel Group plant is shown in Chicago Heights in 2012. Great Lakes steel production declined by 2.33 percent last week.

Jonathan Miano | The Times

Great Lakes steel production fell to 627,000 tons last week, a 2.33 percent decrease, and the second straight week of decline.

Steel mills in the Great Lakes region made 642,000 tons of metal the previous week, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute. Most of the steel made in the Great Lakes region is produced in Lake and Porter counties in Northwest Indiana.

So far this year, U.S. steelmakers have produced 78.2 million tons of steel, about 4 percent more than they did during the same period in 2016. Domestic steel mills have been running at a capacity of 74.6 percent so far this year, up from 70.8 percent through the same time last year.

Domestic steelmakers used about 74.6 percent of their steelmaking capacity in the week that ended Nov. 11, up from 73.6 percent the previous week and up significantly from 67.1 percent at the same time a year earlier, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute.

Some analysts say steelmaking capacity utilization of about 90 percent is considered healthy. 

Overall, U.S. national steel output rose by 24,000 tons last week to 1.739 million tons, an increase of 1.39 percent, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute.


Business reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.