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April 19, 2010

U.S., Canadian Steel and Aluminum Shipments Rise at Double-Digit Rates; Inventories up Slightly

April 19, 2010

U.S., Canadian Steel and Aluminum Shipments Rise at Double-Digit Rates; Inventories up Slightly

ROLLING MEADOWS, Illinois, April 19, 2010 – March shipments of both steel and aluminum products from metals service centers in the United States and Canada rose at double-digit rates from year-ago volume, the Metals Activity Report from the Metals Service Center Institute shows. Inventories of both metals in both nations rose slightly.

Steel Product Activity

Shipments of steel products from U.S. metals service centers in March totaled 3.21 million tons, a 24.0% increase from a year ago. First-quarter steel shipments from U.S. metals service centers rose 11.2% above first-quarter 2009 shipments, to 8.45 million tons. Steel inventories at the end of March of 6.49 million tons were 17.2% below those of last year and, at current shipping rates, were equal to an unusually low 2.0-month supply.

In Canada, March steel shipments totaled 516,400 tons, or 15.9% more than the same month a year ago. First-quarter shipments of 1.41 million tons were 13.6% higher than during the 2009 quarter. Inventories of 1.36 million tons were 16.4% above inventories at the same time last year and, at current shipping rates, equal to a 2.6-month supply.

Aluminum Product Activity

Shipments of aluminum products from U.S. service centers surged 23.7% above the March 2009 total to 107,900 tons, bringing first-quarter total shipments to 291,500 tons, up 11.5%. Aluminum inventories at the end of March of 273,600 tons were 15.1% below last year’s level and, at current shipping rates, equal to a 2.5-month supply.

Canadian service center aluminum shipments of 12,600 tons were up 13.6% from March 2009. First-quarter shipments, at 33,500 tons, were 1.8% higher than the same period last year. Canadian aluminum inventories of 30,700 tons were 4.0% lower than a year ago and, at current shipping rates, equal to a 2.4-month supply.

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.

Founded in 1909, the Metals Service Center Institute has more than 375 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 distributors in North America, amounting each year to more than 55 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 (503) 646-9108 or (503) 686-4260

sweiner@msci.org