Great Lakes steel production fell to 648,000 tons last week, a 2.8 percent decrease from the 667,000 tons of output the previous week.
Domestic steelmakers used about 71.8 percent of their steelmaking capacity in the week that ended Jan. 21, down from 72.3 percent the previous week, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute. It was up from 68.7 percent during the same time period in 2016 but still well below the 90 percent capacity utilization some analysts consider healthy for the industry.
Overall U.S. steel output dropped by 13,000 tons last week to 1.7 million tons, a decrease of 0.75 percent, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute estimate.
The Great Lakes region, chiefly Lake and Porter counties in Indiana, again led the nation in steel production, as it usually does.
Output in the Southern District, which spans mini-mills across the South, rose to 616,000 tons last week, up from 600,000 tons the previous week, a 2.6 percent increase.
So far this year, U.S. steelmakers have produced 5.1 million tons of steel, about 5.8 percent more than they did during the same period in 2016. Capacity utilization for the year is 71.8 percent, up from 68.7 percent at the same time in 2016.