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, marking the second straight week the volume increased. 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 665,000 tons, down from 678 tons a week earlier.
Total domestic raw steel production last week was about 1.85 million tons, down from 1.87 million tons a week prior. Steelmakers made about 1.4 percent less steel last week than they did over the same period last year.
U.S. steel mills had a capacity utilization rate of 77.1 percent last week, which is down from 78.2 percent a week earlier. The capacity utilization rate had been 68 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 76.1 percent during the same period in 2012.
Domestic mills have produced an estimated 75.8 million tons of steel this year, down 2.8 percent from the same period last year. The mills had made about 78 million tons of steel by Oct. 12, 2012.
Steel imports rose 13.9 percent in August over July. So far this year, total steel imports are 21.1 million tons, or about 9 percent less than during the same period in 2012. Reinforcing bars posted the biggest gain in August, increasing by 117 percent as compared to July.
More current figures about steel imports were not available, since those estimates are based on U.S. Census Bureau data. The federal agency is not collecting or releasing such numbers because of the government shutdown.