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March 17, 2009

Steep Steel, Aluminum Shipment Declines Continue in U.S., Canada

March 17, 2009

Steep Steel, Aluminum Shipment Declines Continue in U.S., Canada

ROLLING MEADOWS, Illinois, March 17, 2009 – For the second month in a row, steel shipments from metals service centers in the United States and Canada fell by more than 40% from year-ago levels during February, the Metals Activity Report from the Metals Service Center Institute shows. Continued economic uncertainty coupled with dismal economic indicators led customers to buy only as much metal as was absolutely needed, and service centers stayed in stock-reduction mode.

Aluminum shipments fared only slightly better during February. Aluminum shipments from U.S. metals service centers declined more than 45% from those of the same month in 2008, while Canadian shipments of the light metal were down 26.8%.

Steel Product Activity

February shipments of steel products from U.S. service centers totaled 2.4 million tons, down 43.3% from February 2008 volume. For the year to date, steel shipments of 5.0 million tons were down 43% from the same period last year. At current shipping rates, month-end inventories of 8.3 million tons, down 16.3% lower than a year ago, equaled a 3.4-month supply.

In Canada, metals service centers shipped 385,100 tons of steel, a decline of 42.1% from a year ago. Shipments for the first two months of the year of 792,000 tons are down 40.2% from last year. Month-end steel inventories were about 1.2 million tons in Canada, down 29.8% from February 2008 and equal to a 3.1-month supply at current shipping rates.

Aluminum Product Activity

Aluminum product shipments from U.S. metals service centers totaled 83,200 tons in February, down 45.9% from a year ago. Shipments for the first two months of the year of 174,200 tons of aluminum are off 44.6% from last year. Aluminum inventories at the end of February totaled 347,900 tons, a decline of 24.2% from the 2008 period and equal to a 4.2-month supply at current shipping rates.

Canadian aluminum shipments of 10,600 tons were down 26.8% from volume in February 2008. The two-month volume total of 21,800 tons of aluminum is 24.4% lower than last year’s shipments. Inventories at the end of February totaled 32,800 tons of aluminum, down 20.8% from a year ago and, at current shipping rates, equal to a 3.1-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 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 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