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November 19, 2008

Steel, Aluminum Shipments Decline Sharply in U.S., Canada

November 19, 2008

Steel, Aluminum Shipments Decline Sharply in U.S., Canada

ROLLING MEADOWS, Illinois, November 19, 2008 – Steel shipments from metals service centers in the United States and Canada fell sharply during October from year-earlier levels, the Metals Activity Report from the Metals Service Center Institute shows. U.S. service center inventories of steel products of about 10 million tons were at their lowest level since February, while Canadian inventories at the end of October totaled just below 1.4 million tons, the lowest level since the statistical series began in January 1995.

Aluminum shipments from metals service centers also fell in both countries, but while inventories of the light metal fell sharply from year-ago levels in Canada, they were up slightly in the United States.

Steel Product Activity

Steel product shipments from U.S. metals service centers totaled 3.6 million tons, about 22.8% below October 2007 shipments. Shipments for the first 10 months of the year, of 41.7 million tons, were 7.3% below volume for the year-ago period. At the end of October, U.S. service center steel inventories totaled about 10 million tons, 4.3% below year-earlier totals and, at current shipping rates, equal to a 2.8-month supply.

Steel shipments from Canadian service centers totaled 549,100 tons in October, down 17.9% from a year ago. Shipments for the first 10 months of the year of 5.9 million tons were 7.6% below volume for the same period in 2007. Canadian steel inventories at the end of October totaled nearly 1.4 million tons, or 17.9% less than the same month a year ago. At current shipping rates, Canadian steel inventories were equal to a 2.5-month supply of the metal.

Aluminum Product Activity

October shipments of aluminum products from U.S. metals service centers totaled 144,700 tons, a decline of 11.9% from the year-earlier month. U.S. aluminum shipments for the first 10 months of the year total nearly 1.5 million tons, or a decline of 6.3% from 2007 totals. At current shipping rates, end-of-October inventories of 433,900 tons of aluminum, up 0.9% from a year ago, were equal to a 3.0-month supply.

In Canada, metals service center shipped 14,400 tons of aluminum products in October, down 3.8% from a year ago. Shipments for the first 10 months of the year of 143,200 tons are down 1.9% from the 2007 period. Month-end inventories of 36,400 tons were 11.6% lower than at the end of October last year and, at current shipping rates, equal to a 2.5-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. 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 435 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