Raw steel production in the country’s Great Lakes region rose to 683,000 last week, and continued to exceed last year’s pace.
Overall U.S. output dipped by 0.5 percent in the week that ended Saturday, according to an American Iron and Steel Institute estimate.
Local production grew by 6,000 tons, or about 0.8 percent.
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 649,000 tons, down from 660,000 tons a week earlier.
Total domestic raw steel production last week was about 1.893 million tons, down from 1.901 million tons a week earlier.
Nationally, domestic steel mills had a capacity utilization rate of 78.7 percent last week, down from 79.1 percent a week earlier. The capacity utilization rate had been 77.3 percent a year earlier.
U.S. mills have produced 52.6 million tons of steel so far this year, or about 0.2 percent more than at the same point in 2013.
Shipments rose 2 percent in May over April, and are up 4.4 percent over 2013. U.S. steel mills shipped a total of 8.3 million net tons in May, as compared to 8.2 million net tons the previous month, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute.
Steel exports however fell to 1.04 million net tons in May, a 10.9 percent year-over-year decrease, largely because demand weakened in the Dominican Republic and the European Union, according to the American Institute for International Steel.
Exports had increased by 3.8 percent in April and 15 percent in March. But for the year, exports are down 7.3 percent to about 5 million net tons. Canada, historically the largest importer of steel made in the United States, has posted the biggest year-to-date drop in U.S. imports.
Source – nwitimes