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December 18, 2012

November Shipments Down from Last Year

ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill., Dec. 18, 2012

November Shipments Down from Last Year

The slowdown in shipments from 2011 levels that has characterized the second half of 2012, resumed in November after a brief pick-up in October. Inventory to sales ratios deteriorated slightly across the board.

U.S. Service Center Activity

U.S. service centers shipped just less than 3.1 million tons of steel products in November 2012. This represents a decrease of 6.4% from November 2011. For 2012, year-to-date steel shipments were just over 38.7 million tons, an increase of 2.5% from the same period in 2011.

Steel product inventories were nearly 8.2 million tons at the end of November 2012, an increase of 0.9% over November a year ago and a decrease of 3.3% from last month. At the current shipping rate, this represents 2.6 months of supply in inventory, an increase of 7.8% from a year ago.

In November, 109,100 tons of aluminum products were shipped by U.S. service centers, a decrease of 9.7% from the same month in 2011. For 2012,year-to-date aluminum shipments were approximately 1.4 million tons, an increase of 0.3% from the same period in 2011.

Inventories of aluminum products were 365,300 tons at the end of November 2012, an increase of 1.6% over November a year ago and a decrease of 1.7% from last month. At the current shipping rate, this represents 3.3 months of supply in inventory, an increase of 12.5% from a year ago.

Canadian Service Center Activity

Canadian service centers shipped 495,100 tons of steel products in November 2012. This represents a decrease of 7.4% from November 2011. For 2012,year-to-date steel shipments were approximately 5.8 million tons, a decrease of 1.6% from the same period in 2011.

Steel product inventories were 1.7 million tons at the end of November 2012, an increase of 24.1% from November a year ago and an increase of 1.1% from last month. At the current shipping rate, this represents 3.4 months of supply in inventory, an increase of 34.0% from a year ago.

In November, 13,100 tons of aluminum products were shipped by Canadian service centers, a decrease of 0.9% from the same month in 2011. For 2012, year-to-date aluminum shipments were 148,500 tons, an increase of 8.6%from the same period in 2011.

Inventories of aluminum products were 39,300 tons at the end of November 2012, an increase of 11.3% from November a year ago and a decrease of 0.7% from last month. At the current shipping rate, this represents 3.0 months of supply in inventory, an increase of 12.3% from a year ago.

Contacts:

Chris Marti, vice president, research (847) 485-3009 or 708-280-2904

cmarti@msci.org