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August 17, 2009

Destocking Continues at U.S., Canadian Metal Centers

August 17, 2009

Destocking Continues at U.S., Canadian Metal Centers

ROLLING MEADOWS, Illinois, August 17, 2009 – Inventories of steel and aluminum products at North American metals service centers continued to decline in July, the Metals Activity Report from the Metals Service Center Institute shows. Ongoing destocking in both the United States and Canada was underscored by continuing year-over-year shipment declines for both metals, although the rate of decline narrowed most significantly in Canada.


Steel Product Activity

Shipments of steel products from U.S. metals service centers totaled 2.5 million tons in July, or 39.4% lower volume than during July 2008. For the first seven months of the year, U.S. service center steel shipments totaled nearly 17.3 million tons, a decline of 43.3% from the same period last year. U.S. steel inventories at the end of July totaled 5.7 million tons, 47.7% lower than a year ago and, at the current shipping rate, equal to a 2.3-month supply.

Canadian metal centers shipped 398,500 tons of steel in July, or 23.8% fewer tons than in July 2008. Canadian steel shipments for the first seven months of the year of about 2.9 million tons were 33.7% below shipments for the same period last year. Inventories at the end of July of 999,000 tons were down 35.4% from last year and, at current shipping rates, equaled a 2.5-month supply.


Aluminum Product Activity

Shipments of aluminum products from U.S. metals service centers totaled 89,700 tons in July, a decline of 39% from a year ago. U.S. metal center shipments for the first seven months of 2009 totaled 614,200 tons, a decline of 42.6% from the same period last year. Aluminum inventories at the end of July totaled 266,500 tons, or 42.5% below inventories at the same time last year. At current shipping rates, U.S. aluminum stocks were equal to about a 3.0-month supply.

In Canada, metals service centers shipped 9,700 tons of aluminum in July, or 20.8% fewer tons than during July 2008. Canadian service centers shipped 74,900 tons of the metal during the first seven months of the year, down 25.7% from a year ago. Month-end inventories totaled 30,600 tons of aluminum, equal to a 3.1-month supply.

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 375 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.

Contacts:

Chris Marti, vice president, research (847) 485-3009

cmarti@msci.org

Steve Weiner (503) 646-9108

sweiner@msci.org