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March 18, 2013

February Shipments Lower

ROLLING MEADOWS, Illinois, March 14, 2013

February Shipments Lower

U.S. service center steel shipments declined almost 8% from February a year ago while declines in U.S. service center aluminum shipments declined by just over 12%. Both aluminum and steel shipment decreases in Canada were in the double digits. Inventory levels remained low in the United States, but rose slightly in Canada.

U.S. Service Center Activity

U.S. service centers shipped nearly 3.4 million tons of steel products in February 2013. This represents a decrease of 7.9% from February 2012. Year-to-date, steel shipments for 2013 were approximately 7 million tons,a decrease of 5.0% from the same period in 2012.

Steel product inventories were 8.5 million tons at the end of February 2013, a decrease of 4.6% over February a year ago and a decrease of 2.6% from last month. At the current shipping rate, this represents 2.5 months of supply in inventory, an increase of 3.5% from a year ago.

In February, 114,300 tons of aluminum products were shipped by U.S. service centers, a decrease of 12.1% from the same month in 2012. For 2013,year-to-date, aluminum shipments were 240,400 tons, a decrease of 8.8% from the same period in 2012.

Inventories of aluminum products were 363,100 thousand tons at the end of February 2013, a decrease of 3.1% over February a year ago and a decrease of 0.9% from last month. At the current shipping rate, this represents 3.2 months of supply in inventory, an increase of 10.3% from a year ago.

Canadian Service Center Activity

Canadian service centers shipped 463,100 thousand tons of steel products in February 2013. This represents a decrease of 14.5% from February 2012. For 2013, year-to-date steel shipments were 985,400 tons, a decrease of 10.6% from the same period in 2012.

Steel product inventories were nearly 1.8 million tons at the end of February 2013, an increase of 2.4% from February a year ago and a decrease of 0.2% from last month. At the current shipping rate, this represents 3.8 months of supply in inventory, an increase of 19.7% from a year ago.

In February, 11,900 tons of aluminum products were shipped by Canadian service centers, a decrease of 11.9% from the same month in 2012. For 2013, year-to-date aluminum shipments were 25,500 tons, a decrease of 7.4% from the same period in 2012.

Inventories of aluminum products were 38,200 tons at the end of February 2013, an increase of 9.7% from February a year ago and a decrease of 6.3% from last month. At the current shipping rate, this represents 3.2 months of supply in inventory, an increase of 24.5% from a year ago.

Contact:

Chris Marti, vice president, research (847)485-3009 or 708-280-2904

cmarti@msci.org