Raw steel production in the country's Great Lakes region rose to 692,000 tons in the week that ended Saturday, according to an American Iron and Steel Institute estimate.
Production rose by about 16,000 tons, or about 2.3 percent, from the week prior. 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 693,000 tons, down from 627,000 tons a week earlier.
Total domestic raw steel production last week was about 1.81 million tons, which was down slightly from 1.85 million tons a week earlier.
U.S. steel mills had a capacity utilization rate of 75.6 percent last week, down from 77.2 percent a week earlier. The capacity utilization rate had been 70.1 percent at the same time last year.
So far this year, domestic steel producers have had a capacity utilization rate of 77.1 percent, which is down from 77.5 percent during the same period in 2012.
Domestic mills have produced an estimated 88.7 million tons of steel this year, down 1.6 percent from the same period last year. The mills had made about 90.1 million tons of steel by Nov. 30, 2012.
In October, steel imports rose by 8.4 percent, according to the American Institute for International Steel.
"Steel imports jumped in October as pricing for semi-finished steel products, used by the domestic industry to augment their raw steel capacity, strengthened this fall," said executive director Richard Chriss. "Semi-finished imports accounted for over three-fourths of the increase in the month-to-month comparison. While we believe that for the most part the improvement in market conditions reflects re-stocking by service centers and distributors –and not a real improvement in underlying demand – import arrivals reacted predictably during the month in response to improved market conditions."