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U.S. steel production rises 5 percent in March

Steel sheeting rolls along the hot dip galvanizing line at the Burns Harbor ArcelorMittal plant in 2011.

The United States made 7.3 million tons of steel in March, a 5.3 percent year-over-year increase.

The Brussels, Belgium-based World Steel Association reported the 64 steel-producing countries made 148.3 million tons in March, up 4 percent from March 2017. They operated at a steel utilization capacity of 74.5 percent, which is 2.2 percentage points higher than in March 2017 and 0.9 percentage points higher than in February.

Global steel production reached 426.6 million tons during the first quarter, a 4.1 percent increase over the first three months of 2017.

North America made 29.5 million tons of steel during the first quarter, a 1.9 percent increase.

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China again made 10 times as much steel as the United States in March, according to the World Steel Association. It produced 74 million tons of steel that month, a 4.5 percent year-over-year jump.

The United States also was eclipsed in steel production in March by India, which produced 9.2 million tons, and Japan, which made 9.1 million tons.

In March, steel production increased by 7.6 percent in Brazil and Turkey, 4.7 percent in South Korea, 1.5 percent in France, and 1 percent in Italy. Steel output dropped by 4.1 percent last month in Spain.

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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.