Great Lakes steel production plunges in fourth straight week of decline

13 April 2017

Great Lakes steel production dropped to 627,000 tons last week, down by 4.5 percent from 657,000 tons of output the previous week.

It's the fourth straight week local steel production has fallen, 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 24.2 million tons of steel, about 3.8 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.

Domestic steelmakers used about 73 percent of their steelmaking capacity in the week that ended April 8, down from 71.4 percent the previous week, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute.

It was also down from 72.6 percent during the same time period in 2016.

Overall U.S. steel output rose by 11,000 tons last week to 1.7 million tons, a 0.65 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, rebounded to 643,000 tons last week, up from 579,000 tons the previous week.