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Great Lakes steel production slides by 2,000 tons
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Great Lakes steel production slides by 2,000 tons

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NLMK Indiana

The NLMK Indiana steel mill at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor. Great Lakes steel production ticked down by 2,000 tons last week.

Raw steel production in the Great Lakes region dipped to 646,000 tons last week.

Local steel output has been much lower than normal all this year because of a surfeit of imports that now account for a record-shattering 32 percent of the total market share. Overall U.S. production trails 2014 by 7.7 percent.

Great Lakes steel production slid by 2,000 tons, or 0.3 percent, in the week that ended Saturday, according to an American Iron and Steel Institute estimate. Overall U.S. steel output grew by 1.1 percent over the same period.

Most of the raw steel production in the Great Lakes region takes place in the Chicago area, mainly Lake and Porter counties in Northwest Indiana. Indiana has led the nation in steel production for more than 30 years.

Production in the Southern District, which encompasses mini-mills across the South, ticked up to 598,000 tons last week, up from 596,000 tons the week before.

Total domestic raw steel production last week was about 1.76 million tons, down from 1.74 million tons a week earlier.

Nationally, domestic steel mills had a capacity utilization rate of 73.6 percent last week, up from 72.8 percent a year earlier. The capacity utilization rate had been a much more robust 79.6 percent at the same time a year earlier.

Year-to-date steel output has been 52.2 million net tons, at a capacity utilization rate of 72.5 percent, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute.

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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.

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