Great Lakes steel production fell by 13,000 tons last week, while U.S. steel mills only operated at little more than three-fourths of capacity, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute.
Steel mills in the Great Lakes region, clustered mainly along the lakeshore in Northwest Indiana, made 624,000 tons of metal in the week that ended Feb. 27, down from 637,000 tons the previous week.
Overall, domestic steel mills in the United States made 1.749 million tons of steel last week, up 0.2% from 1.745 million tons the previous week, and down 7% as compared to 1.88 million tons the same time a year prior.
Steel capacity utilization has fallen by 5.4 percentage points year over year.
So far this year, domestic steel mills in the United States have made 14.35 million tons of steel, an 8.4% decrease compared to the 15.67 million tons made during the same period in 2020.
U.S. steel mills have run at a capacity utilization rate of 76.1% through Feb. 27, down from 81.9% at the same point in 2020, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute.
Steel capacity utilization nationwide was 77.2% last week, which was down from 81.3% at the same time a year ago but up from 77% at the same time a week prior.
Steel production in the southern region, a wide geographic swath that encompasses many mini-mills and rivals the Great Lakes region in output, was 715,000 tons last week, up from 700,000 tons the week before. Volume in the rest of the Midwest dipped to 181,000 tons, down from 183,000 tons the week prior.