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May 23, 2005

U.S, Canadian Service Center Steel Shipments Continue Decline

May 23, 2005

U.S, Canadian Service Center Steel Shipments Continue Decline

CHICAGO, Illinois, May 23, 2005 – Shipments of steel products from U.S. metals service centers declined in April for the fifth consecutive month on a year-over-year basis, while steel shipments from Canadian service centers fell, on the same basis, for the eighth consecutive month, the Metals Activity Report from the Metals Service Center Institute shows.

In contrast, shipments of aluminum products from U.S. service center rose for a 16th consecutive month, while aluminum product shipments in Canada resumed a positive trend.

U.S. Service Center Results

U.S. metals service centers shipped nearly 4.59 million tons of steel products in April, down 4.0% from April 2004. Year-to-date shipments through April are down 4.7%, at 18.65 million tons. Steel product inventories, totaling 15.78 million tons, were up 22.8% from April 2004 and 0.7% from March 2005. At current shipping rates, this represents a 3.4-month supply, up 27.8% from a year ago and 10.5% from March.

Aluminum shipments from U.S. service centers totaled 95,100 tons in April, an increase of 4.1% from April 2004. Year-to-date shipments of 392,500 tons are up 7.3% from the same four-month period in 2004.

At the end of April, inventories of aluminum products at U.S. service centers were 374,600 tons, an increase of 23.3% from the end of April 2004, and up 2.8% from March 2005. At current shipping rates, this represents a 3.9-month supply, 18.5% higher than a year ago and an 18.3% increase from March.

Canadian Service Center Results

Canadian service centers shipped 358,000 tons of steel products in April, a decrease of 0.8% from April 2004. Year-to-date shipments of 1.42 million tons of steel were down 9.8% from the same period in 2004. Steel product inventories were 1.31 million tons at the end of April, an increase of 20.2% from April 2004, but a decrease of 2.5% from March 2005. At current shipping rates, the steel inventories at Canadian service centers represent a 3.7-month supply, an increase of 21.1% from a year ago and a rise of 2.7% from March.

Aluminum shipments from Canadian service centers of 9,600 tons were 5.8% higher than those of April 2004. Shipments for the first four months of 2005 are up 3.5%, to 38,100 tons of aluminum products. Inventories at the end of April were 31,200 tons, an increase of 19.9% from the same month in 2004, but a decrease of 2.3% from March. At current shipping rates, aluminum inventories represent a 3.3-month supply, an increase of 13.3% from a year ago and 5.4% from March.

 

Contacts:

Steve Weiner, Readmore Communications, (847) 827-0002 or (847) 533-9143

steve@readmorecommunications.com

Chris Marti, vice president, research and technology, MSCI, (847) 485-3009

cmarti@msci.org

 

About MSCI

Founded in 1907, the Metals Service Center Institute has more than 350 members operating from about 1,200 locations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and elsewhere around the world. Together, MSCI members constitute the largest single group of metals purchasers in North America, amounting each year to more than 75 million tons of steel, aluminum, and other metals, with about 300,000 manufacturers and fabricators as customers. Metals service centers inventory and distribute metals, and provide first-stage fabrication services.