MSCI Metals Activity Report Shows March Steel, Aluminum Shipment Declines
- The Metals Service Center Institute’s Metals Activity Report showed the rate of steel and aluminum shipments declined in both the United States and Canada in March. U.S. service center steel shipments in March 2020 decreased by 2.3 percent from March 2019 while shipments of aluminum products fell 3.5 percent. Canadian service center steel shipments in March 2020 decreased by 17.4 percent from March 2019 while shipments of aluminum products fell 7.5 percent.
- According to the Federal Reserve, total U.S. industrial production fell 5.4 percent in March as the COVID-19 pandemic led many factories to suspend operations late in the month. Manufacturing output fell 6.3 percent due to the fact that most major industries posted decreases, with the largest decline registered by motor vehicles and parts. The decreases for total industrial production and for manufacturing were their largest since January 1946 and February 1946, respectively while the indexes for utilities and mining declined 3.9 percent and two percent, also respectively. Click here to read the full report.
- Reuters reports that manufacturing sales in Canada increased 0.5 percent in February “even as rail blockades and the global coronavirus outbreak affected supply chains.” Analysts had expected just a 0.1 percent increase. The healthier-than-expected rise was due mostly to a four percent increase in transportation equipment sales.
- The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s manufacturing survey plummeted 57 points to -78.2 in April, its lowest level in the history of the survey by a wide margin. New orders and shipments declined at a record pace. Click here read the full report. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said its manufacturing reading fell from -12.7 in March to -56.6 in April, a reading that was below the bank’s worst reading during the Great Recession. Click here to read the full report.
- In other economic news: according to a preliminary estimate issued by Statistics Canada, the nation’s economy contracted nine percent during the month of March 2020 from February; U.S. auto sales were down 55 percent in the first 12 days an April—a dismal number, CNBC said, but less than the 80 percent decline analysts had predicted; and the number of new homes under construction in the United States fell 22.3 percent from February 2020 to March 2020, but were up 1.4 percent from March 2019.