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Steel shipments fell year-over-year in January

The Wheatland Tube Co. in Chicago.

U.S. steel shipments totaled 7.6 million tons in January, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute.

Shipments were up 4.2 percent as compared to the 7.3 million tons shipped in December but down 0.9 percent as compared to the 7.7 million tons shipped the previous January.

Shipments are one of the most important metrics of the financial health of the steel industry since they reflect the amount of steel actually sold.

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In January, shipments of hot dipped galvanized sheet and strip products rose 11 percent as compared to the previous month, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute. Cold rolled sheets increased by 9 percent, while hot rolled sheets were up 3 percent.

So far this year, U.S. steel mills have produced 17.1 million tons of steel through March 10, a 0.2 percent decrease as compared to the same period in 2017. Northwest Indiana accounts for about half the blast furnace capacity in the United States.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.