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Great Lakes steel production keeps trending up

Great Lakes steel production rose to 664,000 tons last week, up from 645,000 tons the previous week.

Great Lakes steel production rose to 664,000 tons last week, a 2.86 percent increase.

It was the second straight weekly increase after a four-week slide.

Steel mills in the Great Lakes region cranked out 645,000 tons of metal the previous week, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute. Most of the steel made in the Great Lakes region is produced in Lake and Porter counties in Northwest Indiana.

So far this year, U.S. steelmakers have produced 27.7 million tons of steel, about 3.6 percent more than they did during the same period in 2016. Steel mills have been running at a capacity of 74.3 percent so far this year, up from 71.6 percent through the same time last year.

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Domestic steelmakers used about 73.6 percent of their steelmaking capacity in the week that ended April 22, down from 74.6 percent the previous week, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute.

Capacity utilization was, however, up from 72.6 percent during the same time period in 2016.

Overall U.S. steel output fell by 25,000 tons last week to 1.71 million tons, a 1.4 percent decrease, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute.

Output in the Southern District, the second largest steel-producing region, which spans mini-mills across the South, decreased to 602,000 tons last week, down from 647,000 tons the previous week. 

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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.