Steel production up 19.4% this year | Northwest Indiana Business Headlines

Steel production up 19.4% this year

Steel coil is transported by train through downtown Gary.

Joseph S. Pete

Great Lakes steel production rose by 3,000 tons last week, while U.S. steel mills fell further under 85% capacity utilization, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute.

National steel output is now less than 20% higher than at the same time last year, when steel mills sank to just over half-capacity early in the coronavirus pandemic. With strong demand and soaring prices, the mills have been operating at more than 80% capacity for most of this year.

Steel mills in the Great Lakes region, clustered mainly along the south shore of Lake Michigan in Northwest Indiana, made 621,000 tons of metal in the week that ended Dec. 11, up from 618,000 tons last week.

Overall, domestic steel mills in the United States made 1.818 million tons of steel last week, down 0.6% from 1.807 million tons the previous week and up 12.8% compared to 1.612 million tons the same time a year prior, when the onset of the coronavirus pandemic shut down auto plants and other factories, greatly depleting the demand for steel.

So far this year, domestic steel mills in the United States have made 89.89 million tons of steel, a 19.4% increase compared to the 75.28 million tons made during the same period in 2020.

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