NEW YORK U.S. steel mills shipments increased month on month in December, but the tally remained below the level seen in the same month a year earlier.
U.S. mills shipped nearly 7.5 million net tons of steel in the final month of last year, up 1.2 percent from almost 7.4 million tons in November, according to the latest data from the American Iron and Steel Institute.
However, the total was 7.5 percent below the nearly 8.1 million net tons shipped in December 2011 and 6 percent below the 2012 monthly average of 8 million net tons.
Products showing significant month-on-month changes in December were hot-rolled sheet, up 7 percent; hot-dipped galvanized sheet and strip, up 1 percent; and cold-rolled sheet, down 1 percent.
For the full year, shipments gained 4.4 percent to nearly 96 million tons from almost 91.9 million tons in 2011.