Raw steel production in the country’s Great Lakes region rebounded to 675,000 tons, and overall U.S. output rose by 2 percent in the week that ended Saturday, according to an American Iron and Steel Institute estimate.
Great Lakes production soared by 48,000 tons, or 7.6 percent.
Steel production in the region returned to its normal range for the first time since early April, when 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.
Last year, Great Lakes steel production typically fell between 650,000 to 700,000 tons a week.
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 642,000 tons, down from 670,000 tons a week earlier.
Total domestic raw steel production last week was about 1.875 million tons, up from 1.838 million tons a week earlier.
U.S. steel mills had a capacity utilization rate of 78 percent last week, down from 76.4 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 37.6 million tons of steel this year, a 0.6 percent decrease from the 37.8 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.com