April 2022 shipments came in at $6.67 billion, down from March’s $7.03 billion. As we remarked last month, it looks like 2022 is closely mirroring 2021—which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. January’s number had reflected the tail end of the omicron surge that dominated December, and now we are at the “virus? What virus?” stage. We expected that 2022 would return to the trend that started in 2019 before the interruption that was 2020, and even if overall shipments have not reached 2019 levels (yet?), we’re at least reverting back to something resembling regular seasonality. The general trend in all but two of the last seven years has been for April shipments to decline from March’s. That’s not really good news but suggests we’re getting back to normal.
Year to date, we are only slightly off 2021—January to April shipments for 2022 are at $26.16 billion, a bit under 2021’s $26.45 billion. We also have some ground to make up if we are hoping to overtake 2021, or even 2020 (oddly enough).