Metals service center shipments of steel products from U.S. and Canadian metals service centers declined sharply in April vs. 2008 volumes according to the most recent Metals Activity Report from the Metals Service Center Institute. The report indicates that U.S. steel supplies and aluminum inventories fell in both countries, while steel inventories increased slightly in Canada, which is attributed to weak shipments.
According to the report, steel product shipments from U.S. metals service centers totaled about 2.5 million tons in April, a 47.2% decline from the year-earlier volume. Through the first four months of 2009, shipments total nearly 10.1 million tons, a 43.2% decrease from a year ago. By the end of April, steel inventories at U.S. metals service centers had reached 7.1 million tons, 30.9% lower than a year ago. At current shipping rates, this volume is equal to a 2.9-month supply.
In Canada, April steel shipments from metals service centers totaled 451,100 tons, 31.1% less than the year-ago volume. For the first four months of 2009, Canadian steel shipments total about 1.7 million tons, a 34.5% reduction from the comparable 2008 period. By the end of April, steel inventories at Canadian metals service centers totaled nearly 1.2 million tons, 27.5% lower than at the same time last year. At current shipping rates, this volume is equal to a 2.6-month supply.
Aluminum product shipments from U.S. metals service centers totaled 91,400 tons in April, down 41.3% from a year ago, bringing year-to-date shipment totals to 352,900 tons, reflecting a 43.1% decrease from the comparable 2008 period. By the end of April, U.S. metal center aluminum inventories totaled 298,500 tons, down 35.9% from a year ago. At current shipping rates, this volume is equal to a 3.3-month supply.
In Canada, April aluminum shipments totaled 11,000 tons, down 27% from April 2008 volume. For the year to date, aluminum shipments total 43,900 tons, a 25.4% decrease from last year. The end-of-month aluminum inventory of 31,100 tons was 17.3% lower than at the end of April 2008 and equal to a 2.8-month supply at current shipping rates.
The Metals Activity Report (MAR), based on data from metals service centers in the United States and Canada, is produced by the Metals Service Center Institute and a third-party econometrics and strategy firm, McCoy, Scott & Co.
Founded in 1909, the Metals Service Center Institute has more than 400 members operating from about 1,200 locations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and elsewhere in the world. Together, MSCI members constitute the largest single group of metals purchasers in North America, amounting each year to more than 55 million tons of steel, aluminum, and other metals, with about 300,000 manufacturers and fabricators as customers. MSCI’s membership also includes almost all ferrous and non-ferrous industrial metals producers in North America. Metals service centers inventory and distribute metals and provide first-stage fabrication services.