Raw steel production in the country's Great Lakes region was 612,000 tons in the week that ended Saturday, according to estimates from the American Iron and Steel Institute.
Production was up 12,000 tons from the week prior. Raw steel from Indiana and the Chicago area typically represents the majority of production in the Great Lakes region.
Production in the Southern District was estimated at 615,000 tons during the period that ended Oct. 20, up from about 596,000 tons a week earlier.
Domestic mills produced more than 1.7 million tons of steel last week, down 3.3 percent from the same period in 2011.
U.S. steel mills operated 69.7 percent of the available production capacity last week, which is down from a 70.3 percent production rate a week earlier.
Capacity utilization last week was the lowest figure reported for 2012.
An estimated 79.4 million tons of steel has been produced so far in 2012 at domestic steel mills, compared to about 76.4 million tons made through the comparable 2011 period.