US steel shipments fall 13.7% in September, AISI says

US steel mills saw shipments fall 13.7% in September compared with the month prior, according to data from the American Iron and Steel Institute.

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Shipments in September totaled 7.23 million net tons, down from 8.38 million net tons in August. September figures were also 9% lower than the 7.95 million net tons shipped in the same month last year.

However, year-to-date figures show that steel shipments increased 7.6% to 73.63 million net tons over the same period in 2011.

Crude steel production hit its lowest utilisation rate in the year, hitting 67.9% in the week ended October 27, AISI noted. Crude steel capacity utilization in September was also at its lowest monthly total in the year, hitting 70.4%.

Major changes by product in September compared to August include cold-rolled coil, which slid 6%; hot-dipped galvanized coils, which fell 11%; and hot-rolled coil, which plunged 22%.