Raw steel production in the country's Great Lakes region was 666,000 tons in the week ending March 9, according to estimates from the American Iron and Steel Institute.
Production was down 8,000 tons from the week prior. The majority of raw steel production in the Great Lakes region occurs in Indiana and the Chicago area.
Production in the Southern District was estimated at 619,000 tons last week, up from 632,000 tons a week earlier.
U.S. steel mills had a capacity utilization rate of 76.3 percent last week, which is down from a 77.5 percent production rate a week earlier. The capacity utilization rate at this time last year was 79.6 percent.
Domestic mills have produced about 18.2 million tons of steel this year, down 7.3 percent from the same period in 2012. Last year at this time, domestic mills produced about 19.6 million tons of steel.
The American Institute for International Steel said steel exports increased in January compared to December by 11.2 percent, according to US Government data.
“Exports increased in January compared to December on the strength of exports to our NAFTA partners in January while exports to all other regions declined on a month to month basis as international demand and prices softened in many international markets,” said David Phelps, president of AIIS.
Exports in January 2013 compared to January 2012 declined by 14.6 percent. Total steel exports in January 2013 were 1.1 million tons compared to 1.3 million tons in January 2012.