Steel Production Sets New Record (10-9-40)

Reading Eagle (October 9, 1940)


Year’s Output to Exceed Peak of 1929

New York, Oct. 9 (AP) –

Iron Age said today ingot production this year would probably outdistance all previous records.

Maintenance of the current rate to the end of December, said the magazine in its weekly survey,

…would insure a total output for the year of about 65,000,000 net tons of ingots, substantially exceeding the previous record of 62,032,445 tons of open hearth and Bessemer ingots in 1929.

Reflecting increased steel orders for defense purposes, for railroad equipment and for a wide range of miscellaneous industries, ingot production has risen a point or more to a shade above 94% of capacity, and indications point strongly to the possibility this rate will be held or bettered over the remainder of the year.

The current rate approximately equals the peak operation of 1939, which was attained in November.

Last month’s output of pig iron came within 1.2% of equaling the all-time high of 140,834 tons a day in May 1929, the magazine noted.

See Expanding Activity

Every branch of the steel industry is experiencing expanding activity.

Pressure is greatest for semi-finished steel, bars, shapes and plates and electric furnace steel, but is increasing in sheets, strip, wire products, pipe, rails and track accessories.

Despite the extent to which some mills are being pressed for deliveries, only self-imposed priorities have been necessary thus far, a condition which may continue provided manufacturers of non-essential products do not attempt to crowd the mills with others beyond reasonable requirements.

In the machine tool industry, the use of voluntary priorities has brought about a badly confused situation arising from the fact that virtually all defense projects have been given an A-1 rating.

The Iron Age scrap composite advanced 8¢ to $20.62 a ton.

Under the threat of possible government intervention, scrap markets were quieter this week and price rises less numerous.