U.S. steel mills shipped 5.2 million net tons of steel in November 2008, according to a report from the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI). The report, which is based on the latest U.S. Census Bureau data, shows that total shipments reflect a 39.9% decrease from the 8.7 million net tons shipped in November 2007 and a 25.8% decrease from the 7 million net tons shipped in the previous month (October 2008). The automotive industry was hit particularly hard, showing a 9.1% decrease from last year’s shipment totals.

Figures released by the World Steel Association show that 2008 world crude steel production decreased an estimated 1.2% compared to 2007. Steel production declined in almost all regions in 2008. Asia reported a 1.9% growth in production, boosted by a 2.6% increase in China. World steel production experienced an accelerated negative growth from September through the end of 2008.