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March 20, 2006

U.S. Service Center Steel, Aluminum Shipments Rise in February; Canadian Steel Shipments Fall, but Aluminum up Slightly

March 20, 2006

U.S. Service Center Steel, Aluminum Shipments Rise in February; Canadian Steel Shipments Fall, but Aluminum up Slightly

ROLLING MEADOWS, Illinois – Shipments of steel and aluminum products from U.S. metals service centers rose in February, but in Canada, steel shipments fell compared with year-earlier volume while aluminum shipments rose, the MSCI Metals Activity Report shows.

Month-end steel inventory-to-sales ratios rose from January levels in both countries and were higher for aluminum at U.S. service centers, while Canadian aluminum inventories were lower.

 

U.S. Service Center Activity

U.S. service centers shipped nearly 4.57 million tons of steel products in February, an increase of 2.1% from February 2005. Steel shipments for the first two months of the year, at 9.34 million tons, were up 3.5% from the same period in 2005.

Steel inventories totaled 13.34 million tons at the end of February. That was 15.5% lower than the end of February 2005, but 1.8% higher than inventories at the end of January 2006. At the current shipping rate,U.S. service centers had a 2.9-month supply of steel products on hand at the end of February, a decrease of 17.3% from a year earlier, but 6.5% higher than January 2006.

Some 100,600 tons of aluminum products were shipped by U.S. service center in February, up 7.1% from February 2005. So far this year, U.S. service centers have shipped 203,100 tons of aluminum products, or 7.4% more than shipments from the same period last year.

Aluminum inventories at the end of February totaled 349,200 tons, a decrease of 2.5% from a year ago and down 1.2% from January 2006. At the current shipping rate, this represents a 3.5-month inventory supply, down 9.0% from a year ago but up 0.8% from January.

 

Canadian Service Center Activity

Canadian metals service centers shipped 323,300 tons of steel products in February, down 5.0% from the same month in 2005 and reversing the strong growth shown in January. Shipments for the first two months of the year, at 676,400, were down 0.2% from the first two months of 2005.

Canadian steel product inventories were nearly 1.03 million tons at the end of February, a decrease of 24.4% from the same month a year ago but up fractionally, 0.3%, from January 2006. At the current shipping rate, this represents a 3.2-month supply, down 20.5% from 2005, but an increase of 9.5% from January 2006.

February shipments of aluminum products totaled 9,700 tons in Canada, up 5.7% from February 2005. Year-to-date shipments of aluminum products by Canadian service centers, at 19,200 tons, were 5.6% higher than the same period a year ago.

Aluminum inventories at the end of February were 29,600 tons at Canadian service centers, some 7.1% lower than at the same time in 2005 and down 1.9% from January. At the current shipping rate, this represents a 3.1-month supply in inventory, a decrease of 12.1% from a year ago and down 3.1% from January 2006.

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 around 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, technology and research, (847) 485-3009

cmarti@msci.org

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

sweiner@msci.org

 

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 around the world. Together, MSCI members constitute the largest single group of metals purchasers in North America, amounting each year to more than 75 million tons of steel, aluminum, and other metals, with about 300,000 manufacturers and fabricators as customers. Metals service centers inventory and distribute metals, and provide first-stage fabrication services.