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December 16, 2010

U.S., Canadian Metals Shipments Take Sharp Upturn

December 16, 2010

U.S., Canadian Metals Shipments Take Sharp Upturn

ROLLING MEADOWS, Illinois, December 16, 2010 – Metals service center shipments of steel and aluminum products rose robustly in November, perhaps signaling the beginning of a sturdier recovery for the metals industry, the Metals Activity Report from the Metals Service Center Institute shows.

Year-over-year steel shipments from U.S.-based service centers rose 28.4% during November; Canadian shipments were 19.5% above year-ago volume. U.S. aluminum shipments were 38.8% higher than in November 2009, while Canadian shipments of the light metal rose 18.3% from last year. In each case, the sequential rise in shipments from October volume was pronounced.

Steel Product Activity

November steel shipments from U.S. service centers totaled 2.99 million tons, while shipments for the first 11 months of the year, at 32.8 million tons, were 20.2% above those during the same period in 2009. U.S. service center steel inventories totaled 7.28 million tons at the end of November, 24.2% larger than year-earlier inventories and, at current shipping rates, equal to a 2.4-month supply.

Canadian metals service centers shipped 512,800 tons of steel products during November and, for the first 11 months of the year had shipped about 5.29 million tons, 15.1% more than during the 2009 month. Canadian steel inventories at the end of November totaled nearly 1.3 million tons, or 30.4% more than a year ago. At current shipping rates, that equaled a 2.5-month supply.

Aluminum Product Activity

Aluminum shipments during November from U.S. metals service centers totaled 110,300 tons; shipments for the first 11 months of 2010, at 1.21 million tons, were 25.7% above those for the same period in 2009. U.S. aluminum inventories at the end of November totaled 347,800 tons, or 35.9% more than stockpiles at the end of November last year. At current shipping rates, that equals a 3.2-month supply.

In Canada, November aluminum shipments totaled 12,600 tons, or 18.3% greater volume than during the same month a year ago. Year-to-date total shipments at the end of November totaled 126,200 tons, a rise of 7.1% above the total from the same period in 2009. Canadian aluminum inventories of 31,000 tons at the end of November were 16.5% larger than 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 360 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