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June 21, 2005

U.S., Canadian Service Center Steel Shipments Rise in May

June 21, 2005

U.S., Canadian Service Center Steel Shipments Rise in May

CHICAGO, Illinois, June 21, 2005 – Shipments of steel products from U.S. and Canadian metals service centers, reversing recent trends of monthly declines, rose in May on a year-over-year basis. May shipments of aluminum products rose for the 17th consecutive month at U.S. service centers and rose modestly at Canadian service centers for a second month.

 

U.S. Service Center Results

U.S. metals service centers shipped nearly 4.58 million tons of steel products in May, nearly identical to April 2005 shipments and an increase of 0.3% from May 2004. For the first five months of 2005, steel product shipments of 23.2 million tons are down 3.7% from the same period in 2004. Service center steel products inventories totaled nearly 15.5 million tons at the end of May, an increase of 18.6% over May 2004 and a decrease of 1.8% from April 2005. At the current shipping rate, this represents 3.4 months of steel supply, an increase of 18.2% from a year ago but no change from last month.

Aluminum shipments from U.S. service centers totaled 96,300 tons in May, an increase of 8.7% from May 2004. Year-to-date shipments of 488,700 tons are up 7.6% from the same five-month period in 2004.

At the end of May, inventories of aluminum products at U.S. service centers were 375,600 tons, an increase of 20.3% from the end of May 2004, and essentially flat with April 2005. At current shipping rates, this represents a 3.9-month supply, unchanged from last month.

 

Canadian Service Center Results

Canadian service centers shipped 362,900 tons of steel products in May, an increase of 2.3% from May 2004, reversing an eight-month trend of year-over-year monthly steel shipment declines. Year-to-date shipments of nearly 1.76 million tons of steel products were down 7.6% from the same five months in 2004. Steel product inventories were 1.25 million tons at the end of May, an increase of 15.5% from May 2004, but a decrease of nearly 5% from April 2005. At current shipping rates, the steel inventories at Canadian service centers represent a 3.4-month supply, an increase of 13% from a year ago but a decline of about 8% from April.

Aluminum shipments from Canadian service centers of 9,900 tons were 3.3% higher than those of May 2004. Aluminum shipments for the first five months of 2005 are up 3.4%, to 48,000 tons. Inventories at the end of May were 32,000 tons, an increase of 25.4% from the same month in 2004, but a decrease of 2.3% from March. At current shipping rates, aluminum inventories represent a 3.2-month supply, an increase of 13.3% from a year ago and 2.6% from April.

 

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.