Indiana continues to lead the nation in steel production. Our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana report Indiana produced 21.6 million tons of steel in 2020, which is down from 24.7 million the previous year, but accounts for 27% of the nation’s steel production.
Lisa Harrison, senior vice president of communications for the Washington D.C.-based American Iron and Steel Institute, tells the publication Indiana has been the largest steel-producing state since at least 1980.
The institute, which represents the steel industry, says about 78.7 million tons of steel was produced in the U.S. last year, marking a nearly 18% decrease compared to 2019. The drop in both state and national numbers is largely due to the pandemic.
In December, Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel (NYSE: X) restarted a blast furnace at its Gary Works steel mill that had been taken offline several months earlier as a result of the pandemic. The company said most of the employees who were furloughed because of the pandemic had been recalled.
ArcelorMittal had also detailed plans last April to lay off employees as it idled two blast furnaces at its Indiana Harbor steel mill in East Chicago. In September 2020, ArcelorMittal sold its U.S. properties, including its Indiana steel mills to Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. (NYSE: CLF).
The Times reports more than half of the nation’s blast furnace capacity is located in Lake and Porter counties in northwest Indiana.