Raw steel production in the country's Great Lakes region fell to 609,000 tons in the week that ended Saturday, according to an American Iron and Steel Institute estimate.
Production dropped by about 57,000 tons, or about 8.5 percent, from the week prior. Most of the raw steel production in the Great Lakes region takes place in Indiana and the Chicago area, which were hit by snow, ice and subzero temperatures for much of last week.
Production in the Southern District was estimated at 689,000 tons, up from 607,000 tons a week earlier.
Total domestic raw steel production last week was about 1.823 million tons, up from 1.82 million tons a week earlier.
U.S. steel mills had a capacity utilization rate of 76.4 percent last week, up from 76.1 percent a week earlier. The capacity utilization rate had been 76.5 percent at the same time last year.
Domestic mills have produced an estimated 2.87 million tons of steel this year, up 0.1 percent from the same period last year. The mills had made about 2.86 million tons of steel by Jan. 11, 2013.
Steel exports fell in November by 17.1 percent as compared to October, according to the American Institute for International Steel.
"The large decline in steel exports in November was primarily due to the sharp drop in exports to our NAFTA partners," said Richard Chriss, AIIS executive director. "The U.S. steel market in November also registered a large drop in domestic shipments, according to trade reports – down 8 percent compared to October. The data for November reflect market conditions during that period prior to improvements in pricing late in the year."