Great Lakes steel production rose to 725,000 tons last week, an increase of 1.2%, or 19,000 tons.
Steel mills in the Great Lakes region made 706,000 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 around the southern shore of Lake Michigan in Lake and Porter counties, which are home to half the nation's blast furnace capacity.
Overall, domestic steel mills made 1.915 million tons of steel last week, down from 1.928 million tons the previous week.
U.S. steel mills have run at a capacity utilization rate of 81.9% through April 13, up from 76.4% at the same point in 2018, according to the AISI.
Domestic steelmakers used about 82.3% of their steel-making capacity in the week that ended April 13, up from 76% a year earlier, but down from 82.8% the previous week, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute.
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A steel capacity utilization rate of 83.4% five weeks ago was the highest level reached in the United States since September 2008, according to the trade publication Platts.
The domestic steel industry has not been running at 80% for years. The capacity utilization rate has been significantly higher this year in the wake of the 25% percent tariffs on all steel imports than during the most recent downturn, when blast furnaces were taken offline at ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor in East Chicago and elsewhere.
So far this year, domestic steel mills in the United States have made 28 million tons of steel, a 6.8% increase over the same period in 2018.
Production in the Southern district, a wide geographic swath that includes many mini mills, ticked up to 748,000 tons last week, up from 746,000 tons the previous week.
Steel output in the greater Midwest fell to 183,000 tons last week, down from 195,000 tons the previous week.