Raw steel production in the country's Great Lakes region surged to 672,000 tons, and overall U.S. output rose by 3.1 percent in the week that ended Saturday, according to an American Iron and Steel Institute estimate.
Great Lakes production increased by 18,000, or about 2.7 percent, from the week prior. Most of the raw steel production in the Great Lakes region takes place in Indiana and the Chicago area.
Production in the Southern District, typically the country's second biggest steel-producing region, rose to 656,000 tons, up from 623,000 tons a week earlier.
Total domestic raw steel production last week was about 1.88 million tons, up from 1.83 million tons a week earlier.
U.S. steel mills had a capacity utilization rate of 76 percent last week, down from 76.5 percent a week earlier. The capacity utilization rate had been 76.2 percent at the same time last year.
Domestic mills have produced an estimated 21.2 million tons of steel this year, a 0.4 percent decrease from the 21.3 million tons produced during the same period last year.
Steel exports rose by 10.5 percent in January over December, according to the American Institute for International Steel. Despite the month-over-month increase, exports were down 10.6 percent as compared to January 2013.
Global crude steel production was 125 million tons in February, an increase of 0.6 percent as compared to February 2013, according to the World Steel Association. Global steelmaking capacity was 77.6 percent in February, as compared to 79.3 percent a year earlier.