Raw steel production in the country’s Great Lakes region hit a new high for the year after reaching 693,000 tons last week.
Overall U.S. output rose by 1 percent in the week that ended Saturday, according to an American Iron and Steel Institute estimate.
Local production increased by 16,000 tons, or 2.6 percent.
Steel tonnage in the Great Lakes region reached its highest point since the first week of December 2013, when local mills produced 708,000 tons of steel.
Output languished early this year after U.S. Steel idled blast furnaces at Gary Works, the nation’s largest steel mill, because of difficulty bringing raw materials across the ice-choked Great Lakes.
Most of the raw steel production in the Great Lakes region takes place in Indiana and the Chicago area.
Production in the Southern District, typically the country’s second biggest steel-producing region, fell to 637,000 tons, down from 642,000 tons a week earlier.
Total domestic raw steel production last week was about 1.895 million tons, up from 1.875 million tons a week earlier.
steel mills had a capacity utilization rate of 78.8 percent last week, up from 78 percent a week earlier. The capacity utilization rate had been 76.5 percent at the same time last year.
Domestic mills have produced an estimated 39.5 million tons of steel this year, a 0.4 percent decrease from the 39.69 million tons produced during the same period last year.
Steel imports rose by 15 percent in March, capturing 27 percent of the overall U.S. market, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute.
Source – nwitimes