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May 17, 2011

Steel Shipment Growth Rate Slows in U.S., Canada

May 17, 2011

Steel Shipment Growth Rate Slows in U.S., Canada

ROLLING MEADOWS, Illinois, May 17, 2011 – The rate of growth of steel shipments from metals service centers in the United States and Canada sagged during April, the Metals Activity Report from the Metals Service Center Institute shows. Steel shipments from U.S. service centers rose 11.3% during the month, down from 19% year-over-year growth recorded in March. Shipments from Canadian metals centers rose 4.5% above those of April 2010, down from the 19.1% year-over-year increase recorded in March.

Steel Product Activity

April steel shipments from U.S. metals service centers totaled 3.34 million tons, or 11.3% more steel than during the same month last year. Shipments for the first four months of the fiscal year of nearly 13.8 million tons were 20.3% higher than during the same period in 2010. Steel inventories at the end of April of about 8.18 million tons were 21.6% larger than at the same time last year and, at current shipping rates, equal to a 2.4-month supply.

In Canada, April steel shipments totaled 514,700 tons, or 4.5% more than during April 2010. Shipments for the year to date of about 2.18 million tons were 14.5% higher than shipments during the first four months of last year. Canadian metal center steel inventories at the end of April of about 1.53 million tons were 9.9% larger than a year ago and equal to a 3.0-month supply at current shipping rates.

Aluminum Product Activity

April aluminum shipments from U.S. metals service centers totaled 125,900 tons, a 21.2% increase from a year ago. Shipments for the first four months of the year of 501,800 tons exceeded last year’s total for the period in 2010 by 26.9%. Aluminum inventories at the end of April of 362,200 tons were 29.1% above those of last year and equal to a 2.9-month supply at current shipping rates.

Canadian metals centers shipped 12,000 tons of aluminum during April, a 6.5% increase from April 2010. Shipments for the first four months of the year of 48,700 tons were 8.7% larger than during the same period last year. Canadian aluminum inventories at the end of April of 30,100 tons were 6.1% lower than inventories a year ago and equal to a 2.5-month supply at current shipping rates.

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 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

cmarti@msci.org