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January 20, 2009

Steel, Aluminum Shipments Continue Downward Trend in December

January 20, 2009

Steel, Aluminum Shipments Continue Downward Trend in December

ROLLING MEADOWS, Illinois, January 20, 2009 – Shipments of steel products from U.S. and Canadian metals service centers fell by nearly 30% for a second consecutive month in December, while inventories of the metal continued a steady decline in year-over-year comparisons, the Metals Activity Report from the Metals Service Center Institute shows. U.S. service center inventories declined again in December.

 

Steel Product Activity

December shipments of steel products from U.S. metals service centers fell 29.3% from year-earlier volume to about 2.4 million tons. Full-year 2008 U.S. steel shipments of about 46.8 million tons were down 10.6% from 2007. Steel inventories at the end of December of 8.6 million tons were 16.1% below December 2007 stocks and, at current shipping rates, equal to a 3.6-month supply.

In Canada, December steel shipments from metals service centers of 322,400 tons were down 29.2% from December 2007. Full-year 2008 Canadian steel shipments of about 6.7 million tons were 10.9% below 2007 annual volume. Canadian steel inventories at the end of December of about 1.2 million tons were 34% below year-end 2007 stocks and, at current shipping rates, represent a 3.6-month supply.

 

Aluminum Product Activity

December shipments of aluminum products from U.S. metals service centers totaled 94,800 tons, a 22% decline from the 2007 month. Full-year 2008 aluminum shipments totaled about 1.7 million tons, down 9.3% from 2007. U.S. aluminum inventories at the end of December totaled 356,500 tons, 20% lower than a year ago and, at current shipping rates, equal to a 3.8-month supply.

In Canada, metals service centers shipped 9,700 tons of aluminum products in December, down 8.6% from the same month a year ago. Full-year 2008 shipments of 165,600 tons of aluminum were 3.0% lower than 2007 volume. Canadian aluminum inventories, at 33,600 tons at the end of December, were 24.9% lower than a year ago and, at current shipping rates, equal to a 3.5-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.

Founded in 1909, the Metals Service Center Institute has more than 420 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.

 

Contacts:

Chris Marti, vice president, research (847) 485-3009

cmarti@msci.org

Steve Weiner (503) 646-9108

sweiner@msci.org