Raw steel production rose slightly to 132,325 metric tons worldwide during July, an increase of just 0.5% over June’s 131,653 metric tons. The latest month’s result also shows a 2.7% improvement over the July 2012 figure, and the brings the seven-month total for global raw steel production to 921,641 metric tons, 2.0% over the January-July 2012 total.

The Brussels-based World Steel Association represents 64 countries, and its monthly report is details production and capacity utilization for “raw steel,” the primary output of electric arc furnaces and basic oxygen furnaces, prior to metallurgical refining and casting into semi-finished products, such as slabs, blooms, or billets. The monthly report totals the global carbon and carbon alloy steel output; stainless steels and other specialty alloy steels are not included.

The July improvement was not a global effect: in the European Union, raw steel output fell 5.4% from June, and declined 6.0 from July 2012. The region’s year-to-date steel production total is down 5.3% compared to the seven-month total for 2013.

The declines were more pronounced in some of the larger steel-producing countries in the EU region. German steel production fell 7.8% from June to July, to 3,397 metric tons; and is down 5.4% from July 2012.

Italian steel production rose just 0.5% from June, but is off the July 2012 pace by 8.5%.

In France, production declined 4.9% from June, to 1,131 metric tons; and also down 9.0% from July 2012. The year-to-date total is 9,335 metric tons, down 5.0% from the similar period of 2012.

The declines in output were registered in the C.I.S. region, where July production totaled 9,151 tons, 1.8% less than during June and 0.2% less than in July 2012. The region’s year-to-date total now stands at 63,797 metric tons, 3.2% less than the seven-month total for one year ago.

The largest part of the C.I.S. region, Russia, produced 5,748 metric tons of steel during July, which was a 0.9% increase over the June output. Compared to July 2012, Russian steel production was down 2.4%, and the country’s year-to-date total of 40,432 metric tons is 2.9% less than the seven-month total for 2012.