Raw steel production in the country's Great Lakes region was 656,000 tons in the week ending March 30, according to estimates from the American Iron and Steel Institute.
Production was up 6,000 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 621,000 tons last week, up from 620,000 tons a week earlier.
Total domestic raw steel production last week was 1.8 million tons
U.S. steel mills had a capacity utilization rate of 75.9 percent last week, which is up from a 75.5 percent production rate a week earlier. The capacity utilization rate at this time last year was 79.6 percent.
Domestic mills have produced about 23.6 million tons of steel this year, down 7.7 percent from the same period in 2012. Last year at this time, domestic mills produced about 25.5 million tons of steel.
The American Institute for International Steel reported steel imports declined in February by 6.8 percent compared to January, according to preliminary government reporting.
“The steel market early in 2013 reflects prices under pressure, short lead times at domestic mills and cautious buying by distributors and consumers, all of which are not positives for import ordering.” said David Phelps, president of AIIS.
Total Steel imports in February were 2.4 million tons compared to 2.6 million tons in January.