Great Lakes steel output falls for fourth straight week

4 November 2016

Raw steel production in the Great Lakes region fell to 615,000 tons last week, down from 632,000 tons a week earlier, a decrease of 2.68 percent.

The drop of 17,000 tons was the fourth straight week of decline in the Great Lakes region.

Capacity utilization nationwide was only 66.4 percent last week, the eighth straight week it’s been mired under 70 percent. Overall U.S. steel output fell by 22,000 tons last week to 1.57 million tons, according to an American Iron and Steel Institute estimate.

Nationally, steel output so far this year continues to trail the sluggish 2015 pace by about 1.42 million tons, a decline of 1.8 percent. In 2015, during the worst import crisis in more than a decade, steel output in the United States declined by 10.5 percent from the year before, according to the World Steel Association.

Much of the raw steel production in the Great Lakes region takes place in Lake and Porter counties in Indiana.

Production in the Southern District, which spans mini-mills across the South, increased to 556,000 tons last week, up from 511,000 tons the previous week, an 8.8 percent gain.

National steel production through Oct. 29 of this year totaled 73.5 million tons, a decline of 1.9 percent, at a capacity utilization rate of 71.4 percent. The United States made 74.9 million tons of steel at a capacity utilization rate of 71.7 percent through the same period last year.