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Steel shipments up nearly 5 percent this year

A steelworker at ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor in East Chicago. 

U.S. steel mills shipped 7.7 million tons of steel in October, a dramatic 12.8 percent year-over-year increase and a double-digit jump that's rare for the industry.

Steel shipments were up 2 percent as compared to September, when domestic mills shipped 7.5 million tons of steel.

So far this year, steel mills in the United States have shipped 76.1 million tons, up 4.8 percent from the 72.6 million shipped over the same 10-month period in 2016.

Shipments are a key metric for the industry since they reflect how much metal steelmakers actually sold. In October, they sold 6 percent more hot dipped galvanized sheets and strip, 2 percent less cold rolled sheets and 5 percent less hot rolled sheets.

So far this year, U.S. steelmakers have produced 85 million tons of steel, a 4.3 percent increase compared to the same period in 2016, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute. U.S. mills have been running at a capacity of 74.5 percent.

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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.