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March 16, 2010

U.S. Service Center Shipments of Steel Beat Year-Ago Volume for First Month Since April 2008

March 16, 2010

U.S. Service Center Shipments of Steel Beat Year-Ago Volume for First Month Since April 2008

ROLLING MEADOWS, Illinois, March 16, 2010 – February shipments of steel from U.S. metals service centers rose 10.4% above shipments for the same month in 2009, marking the first time since April 2008 that year-over-year shipments have been higher, the Metals Activity Report from the Metals Service Center Institute shows. In Canada, February steel shipments rose 15.8% from year-ago volume, marking a second consecutive month of gain.

Although February month-end service center steel inventories were higher than those of January in both countries, U.S. inventories remained 22% lower than they were at the same time in 2009.

U.S. aluminum shipments rose over year-ago levels for a second consecutive month, but in Canada, where the bottom for aluminum products has not been reached, aluminum volume fell from February 2009 levels.

Steel Product Activity

Shipments of steel from U.S. service centers totaled 2.66 million tons in February, or 10.4% higher than a year ago, and steel shipments for the first two months of the year of 5.24 million tons were up 4.5% from last year. Month-end steel inventories totaled 6.48 million tons, 22% below stockpiles at the same time last year and, at current shipping rates, sufficient for 2.4 months.

Steel shipments from Canadian metals service centers rose to 445,700 tons, or 15.8% more than in February 2009, bringing year-to-date shipments to 890,100 tons, up 12.4% from last year. Month-end steel inventories totaled 1.27 million tons, 5.8% higher than last year and, at current shipping rates, enough for 2.8 months.

Aluminum Product Activity

February aluminum shipments from U.S. metals service centers totaled 90,000 tons, or 8.1% more than in February 2009. Year-to-date total shipments of 183,500 tons are 5.3% larger than the same period last year. Aluminum inventories at the end of February totaled 260,800 tons, 25% below year-ago levels and, at current shipping rates, equal to a 2.9-month supply.

In Canada, February aluminum shipments of 10,300 tons were 2.7% below those of the same month last year. Shipments for the first two months of the year of 20,900 tons were down 4.2% from the 2009 period. Canadian aluminum inventories totaled 30,500 tons at the end of February, 6.9% below year-ago inventories and, at current shipping rates, sufficient for 3.0 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.

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 purchasers 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

sweiner@msci.org