Sentiment from steel buyers in the U.S. is increasing slightly, according to the Institute for Supply Management's September steel buyers survey.
Survey respondents are reporting increasing shipping levels compared to three months ago. Nearly 62% say shipping levels are higher – up from 40% last month. Only about 8% say shipping levels are lower.
When asked what they will attempt to do with inventory levels for the next six months, over 15% of respondents said they plan to increase inventories. This is the largest percentage planning to increase inventories in over a year, Steel Business Briefing notes. Approximately 46% plan to maintain current inventory levels. About 39% still plan to decrease stock levels, but this is down from a high of 75% of respondents in February.
Since June, no one said "yes" to the question about whether or not they plan to build or buy new manufacturing facilities within the next year, but in September 10% responded "yes." The outlook is not good for those seeking new jobs, however, as 100% of respondents still do not plan on hiring new people. This number has remained the same since July, SBB notes.
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