The increase in coke production for the quarter was primarily due to the 144,000 tons of coke produced at the company’s new Middletown, Ohio, facility, which began operations in late October 2011. The Middletown facility has achieved 100% capacity utilization ahead of schedule, albeit incurring higher than normal operating expenses in the first quarter due to startup related costs.

U.S. coke production in the first quarter also benefited from improved operations at the Indiana Harbor facility, which produced an estimated 37,000 more tons of coke in first quarter 2012 versus the same period in 2011.