In another sign that the US market is improving, the latest data from the American Iron and Steel Institute show shipments from US mills rose more than 20% from February to March.
US mills shipped nearly 7.65m short tons in March – nearly 25% of that to service centers and distributors, 17% to the construction sector, and almost 16% to the automotive sector.
March shipments bring total first quarter shipments to nearly 20.4m s.t – a 58% improvement from Q1 2009 when shipments were just 13m s.t, Steel Business Briefing calculates. The 7.65m s.t shipped in March is about 82% more than the same month in 2009 when mills shipped less than 4.2m s.t.
Sheet products continued to see significant month-on-month improvements in March, as hotrolled rose 23% to nearly 1.68m s.t, coldrolled rose 25% to 929,550 s.t, and hot-dipped galvanized shipments were up 20% to more than 1.25m s.t, when compared to February.