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December 20, 2011

November Growth Off Slightly from October Rates

ROLLING MEADOWS, Illinois, December 20, 2011 – November service center shipments grew at slightly slower rates for both steel and aluminum in the U.S. and Canada. Steel inventory levels declined in the U.S. and Canada from last month.

U.S. Service Center Activity

 U.S. service centers shipped 3,301.0 thousand tons of steel products in the month of November 2011. This represents an increase of 10.6% from November 2010. For 2011 year-to-date steel shipments were 37,753.7 thousand tons, an increase of 15.0% from the same period in 2010. Steel product inventories were 8,100.5 thousand tons at the end of November 2011, an increase of 11.3% over November a year ago and a decrease of 3.3% from last month. At the current shipping rate, this represents 2.5 months of supply on hand, an increase of 0.7% from a year ago.

120.8 thousand tons of aluminum products were shipped by U.S. service centers in November, an increase of 9.5% from the same month in 2010. For 2011 year-to-date aluminum shipments were 1,392.0 thousand tons, an increase of 15.5% from the same period in 2010. Inventories of aluminum products were 359.5 thousand tons at the end of November 2011, an increase of 3.4% over November a year ago and an increase of 0.4% from last month. At the current shipping rate, this represents 3.0 months of supply on hand, a decrease of 5.6% from a year ago.

Canadian Service Center Activity

Canadian service centers shipped 534.7 thousand tons of steel products in the month of November 2011. This represents an increase of 4.3% from November 2010. For 2011, year-to-date steel shipments were 5,869.6 thousand tons, an increase of 11.0% from the same period in 2010. Steel product inventories were 1,346.4 thousand tons at the end of November, 2011, an increase of 3.9% from November a year ago and a decrease of 9.4% from last month. At the current shipping rate, this represents 2.5 months of supply on hand, a decrease of 0.4% from a year ago.

13.2 thousand tons of aluminum products were shipped by Canadian service centers in November, an increase of 4.7% from the same month in 2010. For 2011, year-to-date aluminum shipments were 136.7 thousand tons, an increase of 8.3% from the same period in 2010. Inventories of aluminum products were 35.3 thousand tons at the end of November 2011, an increase of 14.0% from November a year ago and a decrease of 2.9% from last month. At the current shipping rate, this represents 2.7 months of supply on hand, an increase of 8.8% from a year ago.

Founded in 1909, the Metals Service Center Institute has more than 370 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.

Contact:

Chris Marti, vice president, research (847) 485-3009 or cmarti@msci.org