Steel mills in the United States shipped 8.13 million tons of steel in May, which was down 0.8% as compared to the 8.21 million tons shipped in April, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute.
Shipments were still up 1.1% year-over-year, as compared to the 8 million tons shipped in May 2018.
Shipments are a key metric of the health of the steel industry since they reflect the amount of metal actually sold to customers. In May, shipments of hot-rolled sheets fell 1%, hot-dipped galvanized sheets and strip 2% and cold-rolled sheets by 4%.
Through the first five months of the year, U.S. steel mills have shipped 40.5 million tons, according to the Washington D.C.-based American Iron and Steel Institute trade association. That's up 3% over the 39.3 million tons shipped during the first five months of 2018.
Steel prices continue to slide.
The steel pricing website Steel Benchmarker reported that hot-rolled band prices in the United States fell 6% last month to $575 a net ton. Priceses fell 3% to $713 a net ton for cold-rolled coil, and 3% to $870 a net ton for standard plate.