Raw steel production in the country's Great Lakes region was 654,000 tons in the week that ended Saturday, according to estimates from the American Iron and Steel Institute.
Production was down 7,000 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 during the period that ended Dec. 8, up from about 617,000 tons a week earlier.
Domestic mills produced about 1.8 million tons of steel last week, down 3.3 percent from the same period in 2011.
U.S. steel mills had a capacity utilization rate of 72.9 percent last week, which is down from a 73.6 percent production rate a week earlier.
An estimated 91.7 million tons of steel has been produced so far in 2012 at domestic steel mills, compared to about 89.1 million tons made through the comparable 2011 period.