MSCI: U.S., Canadian Metals Growth Rate Declined in February

17 Mar, 2011

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Inventory-to-sales ratios of steel and aluminum products at North American metals service centers rose in February as shipments of those products, while still above levels of a year ago, rose at lower growth rates than in January, the Metals Activity Report from the Metals Service Center Institute shows.

Steel Product Activity

February shipments of steel products from U.S. metals service centers totaled about 3.2 million tons, or 20.2% greater volume than during February 2010. Those shipping levels, although good, lagged the 3.42 million tons and 32.5% year-over-year growth rate achieved in January. For the first two months of the year, U.S. metal center shipments of steel totaled 6.61 million tons, 26.2% more than the same period last year. At current shipping rates, month-end inventories of nearly 7.94 million tons of steel were equal to a 2.5-month supply.

Shipments of steel from Canadian metals service centers totaled 500,300 tons in February, a rise of 12.2% from a year ago but below January 2011 shipments of 545,100 tons, or 22.7% more than shipments of January 2010. Total steel shipments for the first two months of the year of 1.05 million tons were 17.5% greater than during the same months last year. Month-end steel inventories totaled 1.52 million tons, up 20.2% from a year ago and equal to a 3.0-month supply at current shipping rates.

Aluminum Product Activity

Shipments of aluminum products from U.S. metals service centers in February totaled 113,300 tons, or 25.9% more than volumes from February 2010. Aluminum shipments for the first two months of the year of 234,600 tons are 27.8% above those of a year ago. U.S. aluminum inventories of 358,100 tons were 37.3% greater than at the end of February last year and represented a 3.2-month supply at current shipping rates.

Canadian aluminum shipments of 10.900 tons in February were just 5.7% above volume for the same month last year. Year-to-date shipments, at 22,900 tons, were up 9.6% from a year ago. Canadian inventories of aluminum products at the end of February totaled 30,400 tons, 0.5% below year ago inventories and equal to a 2.8-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.


About MSCI

Founded in 1909, the Metals Service Center Institute has more than 370 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.


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