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August 16, 2011

Growth in Metal Shipments Continues to Slow

August 16, 2011

Growth in Metal Shipments Continues to Slow

ROLLING MEADOWS, Illinois, August 16, 2011 – Service center shipments increased from year ago levels, however, growth rates continue to slow from earlier this year for both steel and aluminum in Canada and for steel in the U.S. U.S. aluminum shipments declined slightly from year ago levels. Inventory levels increased for both metals in the U.S. and Canada.

U.S. Service Center Activity

U.S. service centers shipped 3,121.0 thousand tons of steel products in the month of July 2011. This represents an increase of 8.9% from July 2010. For 2011 year-to-date, steel shipments were 23,982.2 thousand tons, an increase of 17.2% from the same period in 2010. Steel product inventories were 8,411.4 thousand tons at the end of July 2011, an increase of 12.8% over July a year ago and an increase of 6.0% from last month. At the current shipping rate, this represents 2.7 months supply in inventory, an increase of 3.6% from a year ago.

117.5 thousand tons of aluminum products were shipped by U.S. service centers in July, a decrease of 0.5% from the same month in 2010. For 2011 year-to-date, aluminum shipments were 881.0 thousand tons, an increase of 20.1% from the same period in 2010. Inventories of Aluminum products were 354.2 thousand tons at the end of July 2011, an increase of 11.4% over July a year ago and an increase of 0.8% from last month. At the current shipping rate, this represents 3.0 months supply in inventory, an increase of 11.9% from a year ago.

Canadian Service Center Activity

Canadian service centers shipped 468.6 thousand tons of steel products in the month of July 2011. This represents an increase of 11.1% from July 2010. For 2011 year-to-date, steel shipments were 3,707.7 thousand tons, an increase of 12.4% from the same period in 2010. Steel product inventories were 1,619.9 thousand tons at the end of July 2011, an increase of 25.0% from July a year ago and an increase of 3.9% from last month. At the current shipping rate, this represents 3.5 months supply in inventory, an increase of 12.5% from a year ago.

10.7 thousand tons of aluminum products were shipped by Canadian service centers in July, an increase of 9.0% from the same month in 2010. For 2011 year-to-date, aluminum shipments were 85.3 thousand tons, an increase of 8.7% from the same period in 2010. Inventories of aluminum products were 33.0 thousand tons at the end of July, 2011, an increase of 3.0% from July a year ago and an increase of 2.9% from last month. At the current shipping rate, this represents 3.1 months supply in inventory, a decrease of 5.5% from a year ago.

Founded in 1909, the Metals Service Center Institute has more than 370 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.

Contact:

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

cmarti@msci.org