August 23, 2005

July Metals Activity Report Shows Declines

August 23, 2005

July Metals Activity Report Shows Declines
in U.S. and Canadian Steel Shipments from Service Centers


Steel shipments from metals service centers in the U.S. and Canada declined during July in comparisons with shipments in July 2004. Aluminum shipments from U.S. service centers rose for the 19th consecutive month, but declined at Canadian service centers.


U.S. Service Center Activity

Steel product shipments from U.S. metals service centers during July declined 9.1% to 4.08 million tons compared with July 2004. Year-to-date shipments of steel products of nearly 32.04 million tons are a decrease of 4.1% from shipments during the same period last year.

Steel product inventories at the end of July at U.S. service centers totaled 14.32 million tons, up 2.8% from the end of July 2004 but a decrease of 3.6% from June. At the current shipping rate, steel product inventories represent a supply sufficient for 3.5 months, up 12.9% from last year and the highest level since February.

U.S. metals service centers shipped 93,500 tons of aluminum products in July, an increase of 3.5% over July 2004. Year-to-date shipments of aluminum products of 693,700 tons are up 7.0% from the same period last year.

Aluminum inventories of 369,000 tons at the end of July were up 14.0% from July 2004 but down 1.3% from June 2005. At the current shipping rate, aluminum inventories represent a 3.9-month supply in inventory, up 8.3% from a year ago.


Canadian Service Center Activity

Canadian metals service centers shipped 287,500 tons of steel products during July, a decrease of 12.4% from July a year ago. Year-to-date shipments of 2.43 million tons are down 7.9% from the same period a year ago.

Steel product inventories at Canadian service centers were 1.11 million tons at the end of July, a decrease of 0.2% from the end of July 2004 and a decrease of 2.4% from June 2005. This represents a 3.9-month supply of steel products at current shipping rates, an increase of 14.7% from a year ago and a 25.8% increase from June 2005.

July shipments of aluminum products from Canadian service centers fell 2.4% from July 2004 to 7,900 tons. For the year to date, aluminum shipments of 66,800 tons of aluminum are up 2.0% from the seven-month period in 2004.

Canadian service center aluminum inventories at the end of July of 31,300 tons are an increase of 13.2% from July 2004 and, at current shipping rates, represent a 4.0-month supply, an increase of 17.6% from a year ago and 33.3% from June 2005.


About MSCI

Founded in 1907, the Metals Service Center Institute has more than 350 members operating from about 1,200 locations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and elsewhere around the world. Together, MSCI members constitute the largest single group of metals purchasers in North America, amounting each year to more than 75 million tons of steel, aluminum, and other metals, with about 300,000 manufacturers and fabricators as customers. Metals service centers inventory and distribute metals, and provide first-stage fabrication services.


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


Steve Weiner, Readmore Communications, (847) 827-0002