At the 2004 International Conference on Power Metallurgy & Particulate Materials, David L. Schaefer, president of the Metal Powder Industries Federation (MPIF) reported that the PM industry is returning to its previous growth track. North American shipments of metal powders in 2003 posted a 2 percent increase over 2002 to 545,555 short tons. Iron powder shipments increased by about 2 percent to 442,799 short tons. Copper and copper-base powder shipments in 2003 were almost even with 2002 at 22,632 short tons. Stainless steel powder shipments increased 4.7 percent or 400 tons to an estimated 8,900 short tons in 2003. Tungsten powder shipments were up an estimated 20 percent to 3,000 short tons. Tungsten carbide powder declined very slightly in 2003 to 5,289 short tons. Nickel powder consumption in the U.S. increased about 23 percent to 9,500 short tons in 2003. Tin powder shipments increased 22 percent to 935 short tons. For more information, visit