Raw steel production in the country's Great Lakes region was about 657,000 tons in the week that ended Saturday, according to an American Iron and Steel Institute estimate.
Production rose by about 2,000 tons, or about 0.3 percent from the week prior, marking the third straight week of increased production in the Great Lakes region after six straight weeks of declines. Most of the raw steel production in the Great Lakes region takes place in Indiana and the Chicago area.
Production in the Southern District was estimated at 669,000 tons last week, down from 671,000 tons a week earlier.
Total domestic raw steel production last week was about 1.84 million tons, down from 1.87 million a week prior. Steelmakers, however, made 5.3 percent more steel than they did at the same time last year.
U.S. steel mills had a capacity utilization rate of 76.9 percent last week, which is down from 78.1 percent a week earlier. The capacity utilization rate had been 70.4 percent at the same time last year.
So far this year, domestic steel producers have had a capacity utilization rate of 77.2 percent, which is up from 77 percent during the same period in 2012.
Domestic mills have produced an estimated 68.4 million tons of steel this year, down 3.8 percent from the same period last year. The mills had made about 71.1 million tons of steel by Sept. 14, 2012.
July steel shipment were up 6 percent from June, but down 4.1 percent from the prior year, according to an American Iron and Steel Institute estimate.
U.S. steel mills shipped 8.2 million net tons in July. Shipments year-to-date reached 55.6 million net tons in July, a 4.1 percent decrease versus the same period in 2012.