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April 21, 2006

U.S., Canadian Steel and Aluminum Inventories Fall in March

April 21, 2006

U.S., Canadian Steel and Aluminum Inventories Fall in March

ROLLING MEADOWS, Illinois, – Inventories of steel and aluminum products at U.S. and Canadian metals service centers fell in March as U.S. shipments of both metals continued their long-term rise, and Canadian aluminum shipments rose at a double-digit rate, the MSCI Metals Activity Report shows.

 

U.S. Service Center Activity

U.S. service centers shipped 5.3 million tons of steel products during March, an increase of 5.9% from March 2005 and the eighth consecutive month of rising year-over-year shipments. For the first quarter, service center steel shipments totaled 14.7 million tons, or 4.4% more than the same quarter in 2005. Steel product inventories at the end of March totaled 13.5 million tons, down 13.6% from March 2005. At the current shipping rate, this represents a 2.5-month supply of steel, down 18.4% from last year and 13.2% from February 2006.

Aluminum shipments from U.S. service centers totaled 116,800 tons, an increase of 6.1% from March 2005. First-quarter shipments of 319,900 tons were up 6.9% from the 2005 quarter. Aluminum product shipments have recorded year-over-year increases every month for the last two years.

Aluminum inventories at the end of March were 344,500 tons, down 5.7% from a year ago. At the current shipping rate, this represents a 3.0-month supply, down 11.1% from a year ago and a decrease of 15.1% from February.

 

Canadian Service Center Activity

Steel product shipments from Canadian metals service centers totaled 369,800 tons during March, down 1.9% from March 2005. First-quarter shipments of 1.05 million tons of steel were off 0.8% from the 2005 quarter in Canada. At the end of March, steel product inventories totaled 1.05 million tons, down 21.8% from a year ago. At the current shipping rate, this represents a 2.8-month supply, a decrease of 20.3% from the end of March 2005 and down 10.5% from February 2006.

Canadian service center aluminum shipments totaled 11,200 tons, up 8.3% from March a year ago. First-quarter aluminum product shipments were 30,400 tons, 6.6% higher than the 2005 quarter. Aluminum inventories totaled 30,200 tons at the end of March, down 5.3% from a year ago. At the current shipping rate, this represents a 2.7-month supply in Canada, a decrease of 12.5% from last year and down 11.9% from last month.

 

Contacts:

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

cmarti@msci.org

Steve Weiner, Readmore Communications, (847) 485-3011

sweiner@msci.org

 

About MSCI

Founded in 1907, 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 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.