Raw steel production in the country's Great Lakes region was about 655,000 tons in the week that ended Saturday, according to an American Iron and Steel Institute estimate.
Production rose by about 27,000 tons, or about 4.3 percent from the week prior, marking the second 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 671,000 tons last week, down from 705,000 tons a week earlier.
Total domestic raw steel production last week was about 1.87 million tons, up from 1.86 million a week prior
U.S. steel mills had a capacity utilization rate of 78.1 percent last week, which is up from 77.5 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 66.5 million tons of steel this year, down 4.4 percent from the same period last year. The mills had made about 69.4 million tons of steel by Sept. 7, 2012.
Steel exports increased by 2.2 percent in July over June, according to the American Institute for International Steel. Total steel exports rose to 1.087 million tons in July, up from 1.064 million the month prior.
The demand for steel internationally remains weak despite the gain. Exports have dropped 9.5 percent so far this year, compared to the same period in 2012.