North American metals service centers continued to report declining shipment totals for steel and aluminum during July, with all the reported examples showing double-digit reductions in tonnage from June and July 2015, though inventory levels also have declined versus the 2015 reports. The Metals Service Center Institute’s monthly Metals Activity Report details shipment and inventory totals for steel and aluminum at service centers in the U.S. and Canada.
Service center shipments correspond to a substantial volume of the metals consumed by machine shops and fabricators, and the activities at those operations are a reflection of industrial activity in the North America.
During July, U.S. service centers’ steel shipments totaled 2.92 million tons, down 13.8% from the June total and down 15.2% from the July 2015 total. The July average daily shipping rate slid by eight tons/day from June for the U.S. centers, to 145.9 tons/day, and the total tons shipped for the year-to-date now stands at 22.32 million tons, down 8.1% from the January-July 2015 total.
U.S. service centers steel inventories at the end of July were reported to be 7.85 million metric tons, down 14.5% from the July 2015 total and equal to a 2.7-month supply at the current shipping rate.
Canadian service centers shipped 318,700 tons of steel products during July, a drop of 14.8% from June and down 14.9% from July 2015. The average daily shipping rate fell 1,100 tons/date to 15.9 tons, and the seven-month total for steel shipments from Canadian centers is now 2.63 million tons, down 8.4% from the comparable total for 2015.
Steel product inventories at Canada’s service centers stood at 1,100 million tons, which is 25.6% lower than the July 2015 inventory level. MSCI estimated this to be a 3.5-month supply of steel at current shipping rates.