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Steel shipments rise 4.4% in August

A worker walks through rows of ArcelorMittal coils in 2011 as they are loaded onto a ship bound for Macedonia from the Port of Indiana. U.S. steel shipments rose 4.4% in August.

Steel shipments rose 4.4% in August as compared to the previous month.

The Washington, D.C.-based American Iron and Steel Institute reported that U.S. steel mills shipped 8.47 million tons of steel in August, as compared to 8.11 million tons in July. Shipments were up 0.4% year over year as compared to the 8.44 million tons of steel shipped in August 2018. 

In August, shipments of hot-rolled sheets rose by 10%, hot-dipped galvanized sheets and strip by 7%, and cold-rolled sheets by 3%.

So far this year, domestic steel mills have shipped 64.8 million tons of steel, a 1.8% increase as compared to the 63.5 million tons shipped during the first eight months of 2018, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute

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Shipments are a key metric of the financial health of the steel industry as they reflect the amount of metal sold to customers.

Steel prices remain low amid sluggish demand. 

Hot-rolled band was selling for $629 a ton on the week of Sept. 23, down 1%, according to the steel pricing service Steelbenchmarker. The price of cold-rolled steel fell 2% to $828 a ton, while standard plate increased 5% to $844 a ton.

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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.