Great Lakes Steel Production Slumps Again, Falling for Fourth Straight Week | Northwest Indiana Commercial Securities


Great Lakes steel production fell 6,000 tons last week, down for the fourth consecutive week, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute.

Steel mills have shrunk more than 80% of their capacity, a key threshold at which they have operated for most of last year, following the latest wave of industry consolidation, the imposition of tariffs 25%, strong demand and generally favorable market conditions.

Locally, steel mills in the Great Lakes region, clustered mostly along the southern shore of Lake Michigan in northwest Indiana, made 601,000 tons of metal in the week ending February 19, against 607,000 tonnes the previous week.

Overall, domestic mills in the United States made 1.764 million tons of steel last week, up 0.3% from 1.758 million tons the previous week and up 1.4% compared to 1.74 million tonnes in the same period a year earlier.

So far, steel production in 2022 stands at 12.8 million tonnes, an increase of 3.2% compared to 12.41 million tonnes in the same period last year .

U.S. steel mills operated at an 81.4% capacity utilization rate through Feb. 19, down from 76.7% at the same time in 2021, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute.

Steelmaking capacity utilization, a key indicator of industry profitability, was 80.1% last week, down from 76.8% a year earlier and 79.8% a year earlier.

Steel production in the southern region, a wide geographic swath that encompasses many mini-mills and rivals the Great Lakes region in output, totaled 729,000 tonnes last week, down from 715,000 tonnes the previous week. , according to the American Iron and Steel Institute. Volume in the rest of the Midwest fell to 192,000 tonnes from 195,000 tonnes the previous week.

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