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July 17, 2008

Listless Trend Continues for Steel, Aluminum in U.S. and Canada

July 17, 2008

Listless Trend Continues for Steel, Aluminum in U.S. and Canada

ROLLING MEADOWS, Illinois, July 17, 2008 – Continued deterioration of economic conditions added to seasonal and cyclical weakness for metals shipments in June. Steel and aluminum shipments from metals service centers fell from year-ago levels in the United States and Canada in June, the monthly Metals Activity Report from the Metals Service Center Institute shows. End-of-June inventories of those metals also fell from 2007 levels, though slower activity contributed to slightly higher steel inventory levels in the U.S. compared to last month.

Steel Product Activity

Steel shipments from U.S. metals service centers totaled 4.2 million tons in June, down 4.3% from shipments during June 2007. First-half 2008 steel-product shipments totaled nearly 26.3 million tons, off 3.8% from a year ago. Inventories, at nearly 12.9 million tons of steel products, were down 7.3% from last year and, at current shipping rates, represent a 3.1-month supply.

In Canada, steel product shipments from metals service centers totaled 293,000 tons in June, down 6.0% from June 2007, and first-half shipments of almost 1.9 million tons were down 2.7% from a year ago. Canadian service center steel inventories of about 1.06 million tons at the end of June were down 12.1% from a year ago and, at current shipping rates, represent a 3.6-month supply.

Aluminum Product Activity

Shipments of aluminum products from U.S. metals service centers totaled 88,600 tons in June, or 8.3% lower than during the same month in 2007. First-half aluminum shipments of 562,800 tons were down 6.2% from the same period last year. Inventories of aluminum products at the end of June totaled 281,400 tons, down 15.2% from a year ago and, at current shipping rates, equal to a 3.2-month supply.

Canadian service centers shipped 10,700 tons of aluminum products in June, down 6.1% from the 2007 month, bringing first-half 2008 shipments to 62,200 tons, or 0.3% lower than shipments for the period in 2007. Aluminum inventories of 26,900 tons were essentially flat from a year ago and, at current shipping rates, represent a 2.5-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. MSCI tracks the relationships between many external economic variables and MAR shipment levels on a regular basis. The statistical validity of these relationships describes the credibility of the MSCI data and the importance of the metals distribution channel to the manufacturing economy as a whole.

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 65 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 (847) 485-3011

sweiner@msci.org