September 19, 2022

North American Steel Shipments Up, But Aluminum Shipments Fall

Connecting the Dots monitors all major economic announcements in the United States and Canada, but MSCI also offers industrial metals industry-specific data products that provide much deeper analysis and insight. Visit MSCI’s website and click on Industry Data to learn more about our Metals Activity Report (MAR), Momentum Monitors, and Economic Opportunity and Risk Tracker.

Meanwhile, here are the major economic headlines from the last week:

  • MSCI’s Metals Activity Report for August 2022 revealed steel activity increased in both the United States and Canada while aluminum activity decreased. U.S. service center steel shipments in August 2022 rose by 3.4 percent from August 2021, but shipments of aluminum products fell five percent. Canadian service center steel shipments increased one percent year-over-year, but, again, shipments of aluminum products were down. Shipments of those products fell by 11.8 percent from the same month in 2021.
  • According to the Federal Reserve, U.S. Industrial production decreased 0.2 percent in August. Manufacturing output rose 0.1 percent after increasing 0.6 percent in July, and the index for mining was unchanged, but the index for utilities declined 2.3 percent. At 104.5 percent of its 2017 average, total industrial production in August was 3.7 percent above its level from a year before.
  • According to Statistics Canada, the country’s manufacturing sales fell 0.9 percent to $71.6 billion in July, the third consecutive monthly decline. Sales were down in 12 of 21 industries with the drop led by the primary metal industry, which fell 9.9 percent to $5.6 billion. Non-ferrous metal, except aluminum, fell 28.4 percent, while alumina and aluminum production and processing industries declining 19.3 percent.
  • Statistics Canada also announced last week that wholesale sales fell 0.6 percent in July to $80.2 billion. Sales fell in five of seven subsectors that together represent 63 percent of wholesale sales. The decline was led by sales of personal and household goods, which fell 2.6 percent, and sales of building material and supplies subsector, which saw sales fall 1.7 percent to $12.8 billion.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor announced 213,000 people received federal unemployment benefits for the first time during the week that ended September 10, a decrease of 5,000 from the previous week. The four-week moving average of first-time claims also fell. During the week that ended September 3, 1.403 million people continued to receive jobless benefits, an increase of 2,000 from the previous week. The four-week moving average of continuing claims declined, however.
  • In other economic news: Prices for U.S. imports declined one percent from July 2022 to August 2022 while U.S. export prices fell 1.6 percent; the U.S. producer price index declined 0.1 percent from July 2022 to August 2022, but was up 8.7 percent from August 2021 to August 2022; and the U.S. consumer price index rose 0.1 percent in August and 8.3 percent year-over-year.

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