The domestic steel capability utilization rate slipped to 52.7% for the week ending May 16. That's down from 53.7% the previous week, according to the Washington, D.C.-based American Iron and Steel Institute.
The capability utilization rate is a measure of steel mill operating rates.
Domestic raw steel production for the week ending May 20 was 1,181,000 net tons, a drop of 1.9% from the 1,204,000 net tons produced a week earlier.
Year-to-date domestic raw steel production through May 16 was 32,040,000 net tons, down 13.6% from the 37,098,000 net tons produced during the same period in 2019 when the utilization rate was 81.4%.
Three of northeastern Minnesota's six Iron Range iron ore plants are idled as demand for steel has declined. A fourth plant has reduced iron ore pellet production.