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Great Lakes steel production rose by 7,000 tons

Raw steel production in the Great Lakes region rebounded to 663,000 tons last week, rising 1.06 percent to gain back the 7,000 tons in output it lost the week prior.

Nationally, steel output so far this year continues to trail the anemic 2015 pace by about 519,000 tons, a decline of 0.9 percent. In 2015, steel production in the United States declined by 10.5 percent from the year before, according to the World Steel Association.

Overall U.S. steel output rose by 16,000 tons or 0.95 percent last week, according to an American Iron and Steel Institute estimate. Total U.S. raw steel production last week was about 1.697 million tons, up from 1.681 million tons a week earlier.

Most of the raw steel production in the Great Lakes region takes place in the Chicago area, mainly in Lake and Porter counties. Indiana, which also has steelmaking operations in Fort Wayne and Crawfordsville, has led the nation in steel production for 35 straight years, largely because of the big local mills on the Lake Michigan shoreline.

Production in the Southern District, which spans mini-mills across the South, increased to 603,000 tons last week, up from 600,000 tons the previous week.

Year-to-date steel output in the United States has been 54.28 million net tons, at a capacity utilization rate of 72.5 percent, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute. It was 54.8 million tons at a capacity utilization of 72.3 percent at the same point in 2015.

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