NEW YORK U.S. steel mills saw shipments fell 13.7 percent in September compared with the month prior, according to data from the American Iron and Steel Institute.
September shipments totaled 7.23 million net tons, down from 8.38 million net tons in August. September figures were also 9 percent lower than the 7.95 million net tons shipped in the same month last year.
Year-to-date figures, however, show that steel shipments increased 7.6 percent to 73.63 million net tons over the same period in 2011.
Raw steel production hit its lowest utilization rate in the year, hitting 67.9 percent in the week ended Oct. 27, AISI noted. Raw steel capacity utilization in September was also at its lowest monthly total in the year, hitting 70.4 percent.
Major changes by product in September vs. August include cold-rolled sheet, which slid 6 percent; hot-dipped galvanized sheets and strip, which fell 11 percent; and hot-rolled sheet, which plunged 22 percent.