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November 17, 2009

U.S. Steel, Aluminum Shipments and Inventories Rise

November 17, 2009

U.S. Steel, Aluminum Shipments and Inventories Rise

ROLLING MEADOWS, Illinois, November 17, 2009 – Shipments of steel and aluminum products from metals service centers in the United States rose in October from September levels, and inventories for both metals rose slightly, the Metals Activity Report from the Metals Service Center Institute shows.

In Canada, however, October metals service center steel and aluminum shipments dipped slightly in October from September’s small rises; inventories of steel inched higher, and those of aluminum were lower.

Steel Product Activity

October steel shipments from U.S. metals service centers totaled nearly 2.62 million tons, a 2.3% rise from September shipments but 28% below year ago volume. Shipments for the year-to-date of nearly 25.0 million tons were down 40.1% from the same period last year. Steel inventories at service centers at the end of October totaled 5.93 million tons, a 2.3% rise from September but 40.9% lower than a year ago. At current shipping rates, that represented a 2.3-month supply.

In Canada, October steel shipments of 431,400 tons were 5.3% lower than September shipments and 21.4% below those of October 2008. Steel shipments for the first 10 months of the year of 4.16 million tons were 29.5% lower than those for the same period last year. Month-end inventories totaled 971,700 tons, or 1.5% more than at the end of September, but 28.4% below those of a year ago. At current shipping rates, those inventories represented a 2.3-month supply.

Aluminum Product Activity

October shipments of aluminum products from U.S. metals service centers totaled 92,500 tons, a 7.0% rise from September shipments but 36.1% below year-ago volume. Aluminum shipments for the first 10 months of the year of 879,000 tons were 41.1% lower than volume during the same period last year. U.S. aluminum inventories stood at 257,900 tons at the end of October, a 1.2% rise from September month-end inventories but 40.5% below those of the same time last year. At current shipping rates, aluminum inventories represented a 2.8-month supply.

Canadian aluminum shipments in October totaled 11,000 tons, down 1% from September and 23.7% lower than shipments in October 2008. Year-to-date shipments of 107,200 tons were 25.2% below those of the same period last year. Metals service center aluminum inventories in Canada totaled 26,600 tons, a 7.4% decline from September and 26.8% below year-earlier inventories. Aluminum stocks were sufficient to meet demand for 2.4 months 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.

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