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March 16, 2008

U.S., Canadian Steel Inventories Decline

March 18, 2008

U.S., Canadian Steel Inventories Decline

ROLLING MEADOWS, Illinois, March 18, 2008 – Steel inventories at metals service centers in the United States and Canada declined in February, the Metals Activity Report from the Metals Service Center Institute shows. U.S. steel shipments were flat with year-ago volume, while Canadian steel shipments rose 7.1% compared with those of February 2007.

U.S. and Canadian aluminum shipments showed no consistent trend, with Canadian shipments rising from lower levels, while U.S. shipments declined.

Steel Product Activity

February shipments of steel products from U.S. service centers were flat, at 4.26 million tons, compared with year-earlier volume, and month-end inventories declined to 12.09 million tons from nearly 12.20 million tons in January. Shipments of nearly 8.8 million tons for the year to date were down 1.4% from the year-ago period. U.S. steel inventories at the end of February were 23.3% below year-earlier totals and represented, at current shipping rates, a 2.8-month supply.

Canadian steel shipments rose 7.1% from February 2007, to 328,400 tons. Canadian steel inventories fell 7.6%, to 1.14 million tons, equal to a 3.5-month supply at current shipping rates.

Aluminum Product Activity

Shipments of aluminum products from U.S. service centers fell 2.8% from February 2007 volume, to 93,800 tons. Shipments for the first two months of the year, 192,600 tons, were 4.4% lower than a year ago. U.S. aluminum inventories rose slightly from January to 281,200 tons, down 22.5% from a year ago and a 3.0-month supply at current shipping rates.

Aluminum product shipments from Canadian service centers rose 4.8%, to 10,200 tons, and year-to-date shipments of 20,200 tons are 1.7% above volume from a year ago. Canadian aluminum inventories of 29,200 tons were 0.4% below stocks at the end of February 2007 and represent a 2.9-month supply at current shipping rates.

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

cmarti@msci.org

Steve Weiner (847) 485-3011

sweiner@msci.org