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July 24, 2006

U.S. June Service Center Steel Shipments Back Off from Record May Pace; Canadian Shipments Down in Metals Report

July 24, 2006

U.S. June Service Center Steel Shipments Back Off from Record May Pace; Canadian Shipments Down in Metals Report

ROLLING MEADOWS, Illinois, July 24, 2006 – Shipments of steel products from U.S. metals service centers slowed during June from May’s record pace, while shipments of aluminum products declined in comparison with June 2005 shipments, the MSCI Metals Activity Report shows. June steel shipments from Canadian service centers resumed a pattern of year-over-year declines interrupted in May, while aluminum shipments rose at single-digit rates.

Steel inventory-to-sales positions deteriorated in both countries, while aluminum positions were flat inCanada and deteriorated in the U.S.

 

U.S. Service Center Activity

 U.S. service centers shipped 5.13 million tons of steel products during June, up 8.8% from June 2005 but down from the 15.5% year-over-year rate of growth in steel shipments recorded in May. First-half shipments totaled nearly 29.7 million tons of steel products, or 6.1% more than the first half of last year. Steel inventories at the end of June totaled 14.7 million tons, or 1.0% lower than a year ago but 3.0% higher than at the end of May. At the current shipping rate, this represents a 2.9-month supply, a decrease of 9.0% from a year ago but 6.2% higher than May 2006.

June shipments of aluminum products totaled 107,500 tons, a decrease of 0.7% from June 2005. First-half shipments of 632,400 tons of aluminum products are up 5.4% from the 2005 first half. Aluminum inventories of 364,800 tons at the end of June were 2.4% lower than a year ago and 3.5% higher than last month. At the current shipping month, this represents a 3.4-month supply, a decrease of 1.7% from the end of June 2005 and an increase of 3.5% from May 2006.

 

Canadian Service Center Activity

Canadian service centers shipped 361,100 tons of steel products during June, a decrease of 0.9% from June 2005. First-half shipments totaled 2.11 million tons, down 1.2% from the year-ago period. Steel inventories were put at 1.28 million tons at the end of June, or 12.6% higher than last year and 7.2% more than May 2006. At the current shipping rate, this represents a 3.6-month supply, an increase of 13.6% from a year ago and 12.8% from May.

Canadian aluminum product shipments totaled 11,200 tons during the month, an increase of 2.9% from a year ago. First half shipments of 62,300 tons were 5.9% higher than the 2005 half. Aluminum inventories were 31,000 tons, or 3.6% lower than last year and 1.4% higher than last month. At the current shipping rate, this represents a 2.8-month supply, a decrease of 6.3% from a year ago, unchanged from last month.

 

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.

 

Contacts:

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

cmarti@msci.org

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

sweiner@msci.org