Local steel output jumps by 16,000 tons

17 August 2017

Great Lakes steel production rose to 678,000 tons last week, a 2.4 percent increase.

Steel mills in the Great Lakes region made 662,000 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 55.6 million tons of steel, about 2.9 percent more than they did during the same period in 2016. Steel mills have been running at a capacity of 74.6 percent so far this year, up from 72.2 percent through the same time last year.

Domestic steelmakers used about 76.4 percent of their steelmaking capacity in the week that ended Aug. 12, up from 75.6 percent the previous week and from 70.8 percent at the same time a year earlier, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute. Some analysts say steelmaking capacity utilization of about 90 percent would be considered healthy for an industry that's been besieged by imports and mill idlings in recent years.

Overall, U.S. national steel output shot up by 18,000 tons last week to 1.78 million tons, a 1 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, increased to 650,000 tons last week, up from 642,000 tons the previous week.