fbpx
Back

April 17, 2009

Metals Shipment Declines Ease Slightly in U.S., Canada

April 17, 2009

Metals Shipment Declines Ease Slightly in U.S., Canada

ROLLING MEADOWS, Illinois, April 17, 2009 – Shipments of steel and aluminum products from metals service centers in the United States and Canada continued their decline in March, but the rate of decline was not as great as during the first two months of the year, the Metals Activity Report from the Metals Service Center Institute shows. This was especially so with Canadian steel shipments, which, on a year-over-year basis, were down 25.5% in March compared to being down 42.1% in February.

Steel Product Activity

Steel shipments from U.S. metals service centers totaled 2.59 million tons, 39.2% below volume in March 2008. This compares with the 43.3% year-over-year decline in February. First-quarter 2009 U.S. shipments of 7.6 million tons of steel are off 41.8% from the 2008 quarter. U.S. steel inventories at the end of March totaled 7.84 million tons, 22.3% below the year-earlier total and, at current shipping rates, equal to a 3.0-month supply.

Canadian metals service centers shipped 445,600 tons of steel products during March, down 25.5% from March 2008 shipments. This compares with the February decline in steel shipments of 42.1% from year-earlier totals. First-quarter volume of 1.23 million tons is down 35.6% from the 2008 quarter. Canadian service center steel inventories at the end of March totaled nearly 1.17 million tons, 30.5% lower than a year ago and, at current shipping rates, equal to a supply adequate for just 2.6 months.

Aluminum Product Activity

U.S. metals service centers shipped 87,300 tons of aluminum in March, or 41.6% lower volume than in March 2008. By comparison, February shipments were down 45.9% from year-earlier totals. First-quarter U.S. aluminum shipments of 261,500 tons were 43.6% lower than the year-earlier quarter. Aluminum inventories at the end of the month totaled 322,300 tons, 31% below year-earlier totals and, at current shipping rates, equal to a supply of 3.7 months of the metal.

In Canada, aluminum shipments totaled 11,100 tons, or 25.5% lower than March 2008. First-quarter shipments of 32,900 tons are down 24.8%, year over year. Inventories at the end of the month of 32,000 tons are 20.9% below those of a year ago and, at current shipping rates, equal a 2.9-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.

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 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.

Contacts:

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

cmarti@msci.org

Steve Weiner (503) 646-9108

sweiner@msci.org