Domestic raw steel production, an indicator of taconite demand, was 1,459,000 net tons for the week ending Sept. 12, a 2.2 percent increase from the previous week.

The domestic steel industry's capability utilization rate, a measure of steel mill production, was 65.1 percent compared to 63.7 percent the previous week, according to the American Iron & Steel Institute.

Steel production for the week ending Sept. 12 was 19 percent behind 2019 production during the same week when the capability utilization rate was 77.4 percent.

Year-to-date domestic raw steel production through Sept. 12 was 54,728,000 net tons at a capability utilization rate of 65.9 percent. In 2019, raw steel production was 68,531,000 net tons through the same period.

Iron ore plants on Minnesota's Iron Range produce iron ore pellets used to make domestic steel.