July 20, 2020

Metals Activity Report Shows Declines In Steel, Aluminum Shipments In June


  • According to the Metals Service Center Institute’s Metals Activity Report, metal shipments in both the United States and Canada declined again in June, but at roughly half the rates of the declines registered in May. Canadian aluminum shipments were down only slightly. Specifically, U.S. service center steel shipments in June 2020 decreased by 15.5 percent from June 2019. Shipments of aluminum products fell 15.4 percent year-over-year. Canadian service center steel shipments in June 2020 decreased by 16.4 percent from June 2019, but shipments of aluminum products fell by only 2.8 percent.
  • According to the Federal Reserve, total U.S. industrial production rose 5.4 percent in June, but is still 10.9 percent below its pre-pandemic February level. Manufacturing output climbed 7.2 percent in June while mining production fell 2.9 percent, and the output of utilities increased 4.2 percent. Click here to read the full report.
  • Statistics Canada announced last week that, after contracting by 27.9 percent in April, manufacturing sales recovered sharply in May, increasing 10.7 percent to $40.2 billion. The report beat industry expectations for a nine percent increase.
  • Reuters reports that Canadian wholesale trade rose 5.7 percent in May from April, the largest increase since September 2003, due to the relaxing of restrictions imposed to fight the coronavirus outbreak. Sales were up in six out of seven subsectors, including a 33.4 percent gain in sales of motor vehicles, parts, and accessories.
  • According to the U.S. Department of Labor, initial unemployment claims totaled 1.3 million for the week that ended July 11. That number is only 10,000 fewer than the week before. It was the 15th straight week of declines in the number of jobless claims, and the number of claims have fallen more than 5.5 million since their peak in late March. In total, more than 51 million Americans have filed claims since the COVID-19 shock hit.
  • In other economic news: real average hourly earnings for all U.S. employees decreased 1.7 percent from May to June; the price index for U.S. imports (rose 1.4 percent in June while U.S. export prices rose 1.4 percent in June; and the Consumer Price Index rose 0.6 percent from May 2020 to June 2020 and 0.6 from June 2019 to June 2020.