The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported that U.S. steel mills shipped 4.12 million net tons in March 2009, a 54.8% decrease from the 9.12 million net tons shipped in March 2008 and a 4.2% decrease from the 4.32 million net tons shipped in the previous month, February 2009. A year-to-year comparison of year-to-date shipments shows the automotive market down 55.2%. In other AISI news, the U.S. imported a total of 1.21 million net tons of steel in April 2009, a 21% decrease from March’s final data. On an annualized basis, total steel imports are down 37% from 2008, while finished steel imports are down 28%.