March 15, 2021

U.S., Canadian Steel And Aluminum Shipments Down Year-Over-Year


  • MSCI announced last week that its Metals Activity Report (MAR) showed steel and aluminum shipments declined on a year-over-year basis across the board in the United States and Canada in February, but at lower rates than in January. Specifically, U.S. service center steel shipments in February 2021 decreased by 4.4 percent from February 2020 while shipments of aluminum products were down two percent year-over-year. Canadian service center steel shipments decreased by 5.1 percent from February 2020 to February 2021. Shipments of aluminum products declined 2.4 percent. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, meanwhile, a preliminary reading shows steel imports fell 12.3 percent in February. Click here to read more.
  • According to the National Association of Manufacturers’ (NAM) quarterly survey, U.S. manufacturers are very hopeful about the current state and future of the nation’s economy. Specifically, the index showed manufacturers’ optimism increased to nearly 88 percent, the highest reading in two years and up from 74 percent in NAM’s fourth quarter survey. This steady improvement represents an increase of 54 percentage points since the second quarter results (the first survey after the pandemic was declared).
  • According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 712,000 individuals filed for federal unemployment benefits during the week that ended March 6, down from 754,000 the week before. The four-week average of initial claims also declined. Click here for more information. In other employment news: there were 6.9 million jobs left unfilled in the United States at the end of January 2021, including 358,000 in the manufacturing industry.
  • In other economic news: Canadian wholesale trade increased four percent from December 2020 to January 2021 due to stronger sales in the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector; orders from U.S. machine shops and other manufacturers for new capital equipment fell 28.9 percent between December 2020 and January 2021, but rose 11.6 percent between January 2020 and January 2021; the U.S. producer price index rose 0.5 percent from January 2021 to February 2021 and 2.8 percent from February 2020 to February 2021; and the U.S. consumer price index increased 0.4 percent in February and 1.7 percent year over year.