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August 18, 2008

Rate of Decline in Metals Shipments Slows in U.S. and Canada

August 18, 2008

Rate of Decline in Metals Shipments Slows in U.S. and Canada

ROLLING MEADOWS, Illinois, August 18, 2008 – Shipments of steel and aluminum products from U.S. and Canadian metals service centers continued to decline on a year-over-year basis in July, but the rate of decline slowed both in the United States and Canada, the Metals Activity Report from the Metals Service Center Institute shows.

Steel Product Activity

Steel product shipments from U.S. metals service centers totaled 4.07 million tons in July, a decline of 2.1% from July 2007. Shipments for the first seven months of the year totaled 30.35 million tons, a decline of 3.6% from the same period last year. U.S. inventories of steel products, at 13.12 million tons at the end of July, were down 2.2% from July 2007 and, at current shipping rates, represent a 3.2-month supply.

Canadian metals service centers shipped 265,400 tons of steel products during July, down 1.8% from a year ago. Shipments for the first seven months of 2008 totaled 2.16 million tons, down 2.6%. Canadian inventories at the end of July of 1.08 million tons were down 10.1% from the end of July 2007 and, at current shipping rates, represent a 4.1-month supply of steel on hand.

Aluminum Product Activity

U.S. service center shipments of aluminum products totaled 90,100 tons of the light metal, down 4.6% from the same month last year. For the year to date, aluminum shipments of 652,900 tons are down 6.0% from last year’s period. Aluminum inventories, which totaled 279,000 tons at the end of July, are down 13.1% from the same time last year and, at current shipping rates, represent a 3.1-month supply.

Canadian aluminum shipments of 8,700 tons in July were down 2.4% from July 2007. Shipments for the first seven months of the year of 70,800 tons were down 0.6% from a year ago. Canadian aluminum inventories, which totaled 26,400 tons at the end of July, were 1.8% below the year-ago supply and, at current shipping rates, represent a 3.0-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. MSCI tracks the relationships between many external economic variables and MAR shipment levels on a regular basis. The statistical validity of these relationships describes the credibility of the MSCI data and the importance of the metals distribution channel to the manufacturing economy as a whole.

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 65 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