Local steel output falls for sixth straight week

16 November 2016

Raw steel production in the Great Lakes region fell below the threshold of 600,000 tons last week, the sixth straight week it's fallen.Steel production fell to 599,000 tons, a decline of 2.1 percent from 612,000 tons a week earlier.

Capacity utilization nationwide was only 66.6 percent last week, the ninth straight week it’s been mired under 70 percent, and well below the 90 percent many analysts consider healthy. Overall U.S. steel output fell by 22,000 tons last week to 1.58 million tons, a decline of 1.3 percent, 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, decreased to 560,000 tons last week, down from 570,000 tons the previous week, a 1.75 percent drop.

National steel production through Oct. 29 of this year totaled 76.7 million tons, a decline of 1.6 percent, at a capacity utilization rate of 71.2 percent. The United States made 77.9 million tons of steel at a capacity utilization rate of 70.9 percent through the same period last year.