Metal Service Center Shipments Rebound in June

U.S. and Canadian volumes of steel and aluminum increase over May and year-ago levels

Shipments from North America’s metal service centers demonstrated a rebound in June over a slowing pace reported in May, and continued to hold their increases over year-ago levels. Also, the centers’ inventory-to-sales levels declined, according to data released by the Metals Service Center Institute in its Monthly Activity Report.

U.S. service centers’ steel shipments increased to 3.22 million tons during June from 2.92 million tons in May, and increase of 9.3%. The new monthly total also improved on the year-ago shipment level, an increase of 30.8% over the 2.46 million tons of steel service centers shipped in June 2009.

MSCI noted that first-half 2010 U.S. steel shipments totaled nearly 17.6 million tons — 19.1% more than were shipped in the first six months of 2009.

U.S. service centers reported steel product inventories totaling 7.38 million tons at the end of June, higher by 23.5% than at the same point one year ago. At their current shipping levels their inventories are equal to a 2.3-month supply.

In Canada, service centers shipped 513,300 tons of steel during June, a 10.8% improvement over the 463,000 tons shipped during May and a 28.6% rise over the 399,200 tons shipped in June 2009.

First-half steel shipments from Canada’s service centers rose 16.7% to 2.88 million tons. Steel product inventories were reported to total 1.34 million tons at the end of June, 27.5% more than was held in stock at the end of June 2009 and equal to 2.6-month supply at current shipping rates.

Aluminum shipments from U.S. service centers totaled 123,500 tons in June, a 27.3% increase from May (97,000 tons) and a 37.7% increase June 2009 (89,700 tons.)

U.S. centers first-half 2010 aluminum shipments totaled 615,800 tons, 17.4% above the January-June 2009 total. As the month ended, service centers reported aluminum inventories of 311,000 tons, 15.3% more than was held in stock at the same point in 2009 and equal to a 2.5-month supply at current shipping rates.

Canadian service centers shipped 12,600 tons of aluminum products during June, 12.5% more than was shipped in May (11,200 tons) and 12.2% more than was shipped in June 2009 (also 11,200 tons.)

First-half aluminum shipments from Canada’s service centers amounted to 68,600 tons, 5.3% more than was shipped in the first half of 2009. Inventories at those totaled 30,600 tons as June ended, 3.3% less than was reported at the same point in 2009 and equal to a 2.4-month supply at current shipping rates.

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