November 18, 2019

Steel Shipments Down In United States And Canada; Mixed Readings For Aluminum


  • According to the Metals Service Center Institute’s Metals Activity Report (MAR), October steel shipments fell in Canada after reversing 13 consecutive months of decline in September. The decline in U.S. steel shipments continued for a 14th consecutive month. Aluminum shipments increased by a substantial amount in Canada, but declined in the United States. Specifically U.S. service center steel shipments in October 2019 fell 8.8 percent from October 2018. Shipments of aluminum products decreased by 2.1 percent year-over-year. Canadian center steel shipments in October 2019 dropped nine percent from 12 months before while shipments of aluminum products increased by the same amount.
  • The Federal Reserve announced last week that industrial production in the United States fell 0.8 percent in October after declining 0.3 percent in September. Manufacturing production decreased 0.6 percent last month due to a drop of 7.1 percent in the output of motor vehicles and parts that resulted from a strike at a major manufacturer of motor vehicles. Mining production decreased 0.7 percent, while utilities output fell 2.6 percent.
  • According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, manufacturing activity in the region was little changed early this month. The bank’s headline general business conditions index came in at 2.9, roughly in line with October’s reading. New orders increased slightly, shipments grew modestly, inventories declined, and employment continued to expand. Click here to read the full report.
  • In other economic news: driven by a 3.7 percent decline in petroleum prices, U.S. import prices fell 0.5 percent in October while export prices fell 0.1 percent; the U.S. Producer Price Index rose 0.4 percent from September 2019 to October 2019 and 1.1 percent from October 2018 to October 2019, the smallest year-over-year increase since October 2016; and the U.S. Consumer Price Index rose 0.4 percent from September 2019 to October to 2019 and 1.8 percent year-over-year.