manufacturing activity expanded at a modest pace in most
regions from October through mid-November, although steel
product demand was mixed, according to the Federal Reserve
Boards latest economic conditions report.
Survey responses from
industries in each of the 12 Federal Reserve Bank districts
indicated uneven demand for steel products despite strong sales
and production in the automotive industry and vibrant energy
The Chicago district
"highlighted the (auto) industry as a main source of strength
due to a large number of new vehicle launches and increasing
demand for medium- and heavy-duty trucks. Cleveland and St.
Louis also reported increased motor-vehicle production."
Steel producers in
Dallas and San Francisco indicated that demand was steady,
while producers in Cleveland and Chicago experienced a slight
drop-off in production even as they started to see lower steel
In the Cleveland
region, "steel shipping volume is below expectations due in
part to customers keeping inventories at low levels." Mills
dont expect market conditions to change appreciably in
the next few months, according to the report.
The Chicago survey
showed steel production fell slightly even though imports were
down and demand from service centers rose. Specialty metal
manufacturers reported slight declines in new orders and
backlogs through year-end.