Despite heavy snow pounding the midwest and other northern areas of the U.S. in January, the average daily shipping rate of steel service centers still jumped 12.5 percent above December's rate. Despite the gain, shipments are just off 1998's record-setting pace to start this year, but are tracking above the strong rate posted in 1997.
According to the Business Conditions Report of the Steel Service Center Institute
(SSCI), the largest jump was seen in stainless products, which rose 19.9 percent above the previous month's daily shipping rate. The other six product categories all posted increases, ranging from a modest 2.4 percent gain, to a 15.8 percent increase.