Great Lakes steel production ticks up by 8,000 tons

27 July 2017

Great Lakes steel production rose to 677,000 tons last week, an increase of nearly 1.2 percent.

Steel mills in the Great Lakes region cranked out 669,000 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 in Lake and Porter counties in Northwest Indiana.

So far this year, U.S. steelmakers have produced 50.3 million tons of steel, about 2.5 percent more than they did during the same period in 2016. Steel mills have been running at a capacity of 74.5 percent so far this year, up from 72.4 percent through the same time last year.

Domestic steelmakers used about 76.1 percent of their steelmaking capacity in the week that ended July 22, up from 75.6 percent the previous week and 71.3 percent at the same time a year earlier, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute. Some analysts say 90 percent would be considered healthy for the industry.

Steelmaking capacity utilization was just 72.4 percent during the same time period in 2016. Overall, U.S. national steel output rose by 10,000 tons last week to 1.773 million tons, a 0.56 percent increase, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute.

Production in the Southern District, nearly always the country's second-largest steel-producing region, which spans mini-mills across the South, dipped to 637,000 tons last week, down from 639,000 tons the previous week.