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Rise in Steel Shipments Compared to 2011 Numbers Could Be a Good Sign

6/2/2012 | Construction Blog

Opinions vary in the construction industry as to whether the economy has turned the corner. Many report an uptick in available projects, while others say the pickings remain slim. There are any number of reports and polls to consider when reaching a conclusion about the current state of the construction economy and where we are headed. At least one more suggests the possibility of better times.

The American Iron and Steel Institute, an organization whose stated mission is to influence public policy, educate, and shape public opinion regarding the U.S. and North American steel industry, has issued a press release that indciates increased amounts of steel being shipped from American based steel mills.


You can read the entire document here, but the highlights include a net increase of 5.1% in shipments between December 2011 and January 2012. There was also a 12.9% increase when January 2011 was compared with January 2012.

Commerce Department numbers seem to be backing up these conclusions. Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis data shows a 29% increase in steel imports for the first two months of 2012 when compared to the same months in 2011. It seems several key products are experiencing elevated import levels: (1) rebar; (2) bar size light shapes; (3) metallic coated sheets and strip, and (4) hot dipped galvanized sheets and strip.

What does it all mean? Material production seems to be moving in the right direction, suggesting that there is a need and some more projects may be on the horizon. Time will tell, but this is an encouraging indicator.