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OHIO Steel council expects recovery



Published: Fri, April 26, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Steel employment in Ohio has fallen 32 percent since 1998.

YOUNGSTOWN -- Ohio's steel industry said steel production, shipping, employment and capital spending last year were the lowest since the mid-1980s.

The Ohio Steel Council said, however, that it expects better market conditions this year.

"We have good reason to expect a recovery in 2002, with President Bush's tariffs on certain imported steel products and the U.S. economy showing signs of improvement," said Jim Cowan, co-chairman of the council and general manager of North Star Steel in Youngstown.

Here is what happened last year:

USteel production was 13.1 million tons, down 24 percent from 2000 and 21 percent from when the steel import crisis began in 1998.

UShipments were 12.7 million tons, down 20 percent from 2000 and 13 percent from 1998.

UEmployment was 18,800, down 19 percent from 2000 and 32 percent from 1998.

UCapital spending was $147 million, down 51 percent from 2000 and 65 percent from 1998.

Reason for lower numbers

The council attributed the lower numbers to the closing of CSC Ltd. in Warren, the shutdown of LTV Steel, a poor economy and increased imports.

The slow steel industry affected the larger economy, the council said. Ohio steel companies' spending for electricity was down 23 percent last year, payments of state and local taxes fell 30 percent, training and education spending was down 66 percent and charitable contributions were off 29 percent.

The report, which is compiled by Youngstown State University's Center for Urban Studies, covers the council's member plants, which produce about 90 percent of the steel in the state.




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