Shipment slowdown continues in December
The Metals Service Center Institute reports steel shipments in the U.S. totaled 2.5 million tons in December 2012, a 14.4% decrease from December 2011. A total of 41.2 million tons of steel was shipped in 2012, a 1.3% decrease compared to 2011.
Steel inventories were up to 8.5 million tons in December 2012, a 2.4% increase from December 2011 and up 4.6% from November 2012. At the current shipping rate this represents 3.4 months of supply, a 19.6% increase from 2011.
In December, 91,900 tons of aluminum were shipped by U.S. service centers, a 15.9% decrease from December 2011. Aluminum shipments reached 1.5 million tons in 2012, a 0.9% decrease from 2011.
There were 365,600 tons of aluminum products in inventory at the end of December 2012, a 2.4% increase from December 2011 and a 0.1% increase from November 2012. This represents four months of inventory at the current shipping rate, a 21.9% increase from 2011.