Great Lakes steel production dipped by 3,000 tons last week, while U.S. steel mills inched closer to operating at 80% of capacity, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute.
Steel mills in the Great Lakes region, clustered mainly along the lakeshore in Northwest Indiana, made 617,000 tons of metal in the week that ended March 27, down from 620,000 tons the previous week.
Overall, domestic steel mills in the United States made 1.76 million tons of steel last week, up 0.4% from 1.753 million tons the previous week, and up 1.1% as compared to 1.741 million tons the same time a year prior.
Steel capacity utilization has been rising and is now down by just 2.8 percentage points year over year.
So far this year, domestic steel mills in the United States have made 21.38 million tons of steel, an 5.6% decrease compared to the 22.65 million tons made during the same period in 2020.
U.S. steel mills have run at a capacity utilization rate of 76.8% through March 27, down from 79.6% at the same point in 2020, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute.
Steel capacity utilization nationwide was 77.6% last week, which was up from 75.3% at the same time a year ago but down from 77.3% at the same time a week prior.
Steel production in the southern region, a wide geographic swath that encompasses many mini-mills and rivals the Great Lakes region in output, was 712,000 tons last week, down from 724,000 tons the week before. Volume in the rest of the Midwest rose to 189,000 tons, up from 184,000 tons the week prior.