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Great Lakes steel production drops by 33,000 tons

A crane operator lifts a steel coil in 2012 in the Portage Feralloy facility. Great Lakes steel production fell by 33,000 tons last week.

Raw steel production in the Great Lakes region fell to 663,000 tons last week, a 4.7 percent decrease compared to 696,000 tons the week before.

Nationally, steel output so far this year continues to trail the anemic 2015 pace by about 420,000 tons, a decline of 0.8 percent. In 2015, steel production in the United States declined by 10.5 percent from the year before, according to the World Steel Association.

Overall U.S. steel output rose by 1.94 percent last week, according to an American Iron and Steel Institute estimate. Total U.S. raw steel production last week was about 1.746 million tons, up from 1.712 million tons a week earlier.

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Most of the raw steel production in the Great Lakes region takes place in the Chicago area, mainly in Lake and Porter counties.

Production in the Southern District, which spans mini-mills across the South, rose to 618,000 tons last week, up from 612,000 tons the previous week.

Year-to-date steel output in the United States has been 50.9 million net tons, at a capacity utilization rate of 72.6 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.