NEW YORK U.S. steel mills shipments rose in October compared with the previous month at the same time that capacity utilization reached its lowest rate thus far this year, according to data from the American Iron and Steel Institute.
October shipments totaled 7.4 million net tons, up 2.7 percent from 7.2 million tons in September (amm.com, Nov. 16).
Still, Octobers total represented a 6.3-percent decline from the 7.9 million tons in October 2011. Mills raw steel capacity utilization for the month was 68 percent, the lowest monthly total so far in 2012.
Shipments of hot-rolled sheet rose 6 percent month on month in October, while hot-dipped galvanized sheets and strip rose 3 percent in the same comparison. Shipments of cold-rolled sheet registered no change, AISI said.
U.S. steel mills have shipped 81.1 million tons from January to October 2012, up 6.1 percent from 76.4 million tons in the same 2011 period.