Raw steel production in the Great Lakes region dropped to 639,000 tons last week, down from 653,000 tons a week earlier, a decline of 2.14 percent.
Capacity utilization nationwide was only 69.8 percent last week, up by 0.3 percent but well below the 90 percent that many analysts say would be healthy for the steel industry. Overall U.S. steel output ticked up slightly by 6,000 tons last week to 1.63 million tons, according to an American Iron and Steel Institute estimate.
Nationally, steel output so far this year continues to trail the anemic 2015 pace by about 884,000 tons, a decline of 1.35 percent. In 2015, steel production in the United States declined by 10.5 percent from the year before, according to the World Steel Association.
Most of the raw steel production in the Great Lakes region takes place in the Chicago area, mainly in Lake and Porter counties.
Production in the Southern District, which spans mini-mills across the South, rose to 556,000 tons last week, up from 544,000 tons the previous week.
Source: American Iron and Steel Institute