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September 22, 2006

U.S., Canadian Steel, Aluminum Inventory Levels Improve

September 22, 2006

U.S., Canadian Steel, Aluminum Inventory Levels Improve

ROLLING MEADOWS, Illinois, September 22, 2006 – Inventories of steel and aluminum products held by U.S. and Canadian metals service centers, expressed in terms of months of inventory on hand, improved in August, the MSCI Metals Activity Report shows.

Steel and aluminum shipments declined on a year-over-year basis in Canada, while shipments of both metals rose on that basis in the U.S.

 

U.S. Service Center Activity

U.S. metals service centers shipped 5.07 million tons of steel products during August, up just 1.0% from August 2005, well below the growth rate of the previous three months. For the year to date, steel shipments were nearly 39.2 million tons, or 5.7% more than during the same period a year ago. At the end of August, steel inventories were 15.9 million tons, an increase of 19.0% over August 2005 and up 4.4% from July. At current shipping rates, the total represented a 3.1-month supply of steel, down 8.5% from July 2006 but an increase 17.8% from the end of August last year.

Shipments of aluminum products totaled 106,700 tons, up 2.7% from August 2005. For the year to date, U.S. service center shipments of aluminum products total 830,400 tons, or 4.1% more than during the first eight months of last year. Month-end aluminum inventories were 385,800 tons, an increase of 5.0% from last year and 2.2% higher than in July. At the current shipping rate, this represents a 3.6-month supply, down 12.5% from July but 2.3% higher than a year ago.

 

Canadian Service Center Activity

Canadian metals service centers shipped 336,400 tons of steel products in August, a decrease of 6.0% from August 2005. Steel shipments of 2.75 million tons for the first eight months of the year are down 1.3% compared with the same period a year ago. Steel inventories of about 1.46 million tons were up 35.8% from the end of August 2005 and were 7.4% higher than at the end of July. At the current shipping rate, this represents a 4.3-month supply of steel at Canadian service centers, an increase of 44.4% from a year ago but down 4.5% from last month.

Shipments of aluminum products by Canadian centers totaled 9,700 tons in August, a decrease of 7.8% from August 2005. Year-to-date shipments of 83,600 tons were up 3.2% from the first eight months of last year. Inventories of aluminum totaled 31,300 tons at the end of August, a decrease of 6.0% from a year ago and down 0.5% from last month. At the current shipping rate, aluminum inventory represented a 3.2-month supply.

 

About MSCI

Founded in 1907, the Metals Service Center Institute has more than 420 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 65 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, Readmore Communications, (847) 485-3011

sweiner@msci.org