'Unseasonable' weather aids metals sector shipments

Feb 29, 2012 | 07:00 PM | John Ambrosia

Tags  Metals distributors, Port of Indiana, reinforcing bar prices, St. Lawrence Seaway, John Ambrosia

With winter winding down, many across the country are left wondering when, if ever, the annual rites of passage of freezing temperatures and snow—or frost and severe storms in the South and on the West Coast—are going to make an appearance.

The lack of a “normal” winter, let alone a severe one, has had an impact on the metals sector, affecting prices and the movement of goods. And while there have been some spots of severe weather in some regions, so far they have been isolated and the effect largely muted.

The continental United States mostly has been spared from Old Man Winter. As a preamble of what was to come, the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) reported that November was the 25th warmest in its 117 years of recordkeeping, with 13 states in the Northeast and the upper Midwest recording a top-10 warmest November on record and none suffering a top-10 coldest November. Approximately half of the United States had temperatures at least 5 degrees above average during December, the NCDC reported, and January was the third-least snowy on record, according to the Global Snow Lab at Rutgers University. (Records for the amount of ground covered by snow go back to 1967.) ....

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