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July 19, 2007

U.S. Canadian Steel and Aluminum Shipments Fall Sharply; Inventories Fall to Lowest Levels in More than a Year

July 19, 2007

U.S. Canadian Steel and Aluminum Shipments Fall Sharply; Inventories Fall to Lowest Levels in More than a Year

ROLLING MEADOWS, Illinois, July 19, 2007 – U.S. and Canadian shipments of steel and aluminum continued a long downward trend in June, and inventories of both metals reached their lowest levels in a year or more, the Metals Activity Report from the Metals Service Center Institute shows.

Inventories of steel products at metals service centers fell to the lowest level since March 2006 in the United States and May 2006 in Canada. U.S. aluminum inventories at the end of June were at their lowest level since July 2005, while Canadian aluminum inventories fell to their lowest level since September 2004.

 

Steel Product Activity

Shipments of steel products from U.S. metals service centers totaled 4.4 million tons, a decline of 14.3% from the same month a year ago and the 10th consecutive month of year-over-year shipment reductions. Canadian steel shipments fell 13.6%, to 311,800 tons, marking the 11th consecutive month of year-over-year declines there.

Steel product inventories at U.S. metals service centers stood at nearly 13.9 million tons, down 5.7% from July 2006 and 17.4% lower than the cyclical inventory peak of nearly 16.8 million tons reached in October 2006. At current shipping rates, U.S. steel inventories at the end of June equaled a 3.2-month supply. Canadian steel inventories fell 6.1% below year-ago levels to 1.2 million tons. At current shipping rates, that equals a 3.9-month supply.

 

Aluminum Product Activity

Shipments of aluminum products from U.S. metals service centers totaled 96,600 tons, or 10.1% less than during June 2006. Canadian aluminum shipments of 11,400 tons were down 2.5% from a year ago.

Aluminum inventories in the United States at the end of June totaled 325,200 tons, down 10.9% from a year ago and equal, at current shipping rates, to a 3.4-month supply. Inventories at Canadian service centers totaled 27,000 tons, down 19.3% from June 2006 and, at current shipping rates, sufficient for 2.4 months.

The Metals Activity Report (MAR), based on data from metals service centers in the United States and Canada, is produced by the Metals Service Center Institute and a third-party econometrics and strategy firm, McCoy, Scott & Co. MSCI tracks the relationships between many external economic variables and MAR shipment levels on a regular basis. The statistical validity of these relationships describes the credibility of the MSCI data and the importance of the metals distribution channel to the manufacturing economy as a whole.

Founded in 1909, 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 or 708-280-2904

cmarti@msci.org

Steve Weiner (847) 485-3011

sweiner@msci.org