Great Lakes steel production rose to 670,000 tons

4 February 2015

Raw steel production rose slightly to 670,000 tons in the Great Lakes region last week, the second straight week it increased.

U.S. steel production fell by 2.4 percent in the week that ended Saturday, according to an American Iron and Steel Institute estimate. Local production however bucked the downward trend and ticked up by 4,000 tons, or about 0.6 percent.

Most of the raw steel production in the Great Lakes region takes place in the Chicago area, chiefly Lake and Porter counties in Indiana.

Production in the Southern District, typically the nation's second-biggest steel-producing region, dropped to 582,000 tons last week, down from 614,000 tons a week earlier.

Total domestic raw steel production last week was about 1.782 million tons, down from 1.825 million tons a week earlier.

Nationally, domestic steel mills had a capacity utilization rate of 75.4 percent last week, down from 75.9 percent a week earlier. The capacity utilization rate had been 75.8 percent at the same time a year earlier.

Year-to-date output was 8.1 million net tons, at a capacity utilization rate of 77.4 percent, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute. Production is up 0.4 percent over 2014 so far.