North American service centers posted generally improved results for August, compared to July, though the year-to-date results are less positive. Steel shipments from centers in the U.S. and Canada fell behind the August 2011 totals, though their eight-month results for 2012 are about even with the 2011 pace.
The data is contained in the Metals Service Center Institute’s monthly Metals Activity Report, which compiles actual shipment totals from member companies in Canada and the U.S.
U.S. service centers’ aluminum shipments fell behind their August 2011 total, and the January-August total for aluminum shipments remains almost even.
One positive result for the month was the Canadian centers’ aluminum shipments, which increased in volume versus July 2012 and August 2011, and the eight-month shipment total also tops the 2011 total.
U.S. service centers shipped 3.65 million tons of steel during August, an 11% rise over the July total (3.3 million tons), but a 1.0% decrease from the August 2011 shipment total (3.7 million tons.)
Year-to-date steel shipments for U.S. centers stood at 29 million tons as of August 31, an increase of 4.9% over the January-August 2011 period.
Inventories of steel products at U.S. service centers were 8.95 million tons at the end of August, a 0.3% increase versus July and a of 5.8% increase over August 2011 inventories. At the current shipping rate, U.S. centers’ inventories represent a 2.5-months supply of steel, an increase of 6.9% over the August 2011 level.
As for aluminum, U.S. service centers shipped 134.1 thousand tons during August, a 10.2% increase over July shipments but a 1.3% decrease versus August 2011 deliveries. Year-to-date aluminum shipments for U.S. service centers totaled 1.05 million tons as of August 31, a 3.1% increase over the comparable figure for 2011.
Service centers report aluminum inventories of 380.7 tons through August, a 5.5% increase versus the August 2011 total. At the current shipping rate, this represents a 2.8-months supply of aluminum in inventory, which is an increase of 7.0% against a year ago.
In Canada, service centers shipped 513,400 tons of steel during August, 9.0% more than the July total of 471,000 tons, but 5.1% less than the August 2011 total of 541,000 tons. Year-to-date steel shipments total 4.29 million tons through August, an increase of just 0.9% over the eight-month total for 2011 (4.25 million tons.)
Canadian centers’ steel product inventories are reported to be 1.62 million tons at the end of August 2012, a 0.3% versus inventories at the same point of 2011, a decrease of 0.8% versus July inventories, and a decrease of 0.3% from the August 2011 inventory total.
At the current shipping rate, Canada’s steel service centers have a 3.2-month supply available, an increase of 5.1% over August 2011.
Aluminum shipments from Canada’s service centers amounted to 13,400 tons during August, an increase of 7.2% over July shipments (12,500 tons) and an increase of 5.4% over the August 2011 shipment total (12,700 tons.) January-August 2012 aluminum shipments amounted to 109,200 tons for Canadian service centers, an 11.5% increase over the eight-month shipment total for 2011.
Inventories of aluminum at Canadian centers stood at 39,200 tons as August 2012 ended, an increase of 0.5% from July (39,000 tons), and an increase of 14.4% from the August 2011 total (34,300 ton.) This represents a 2.9-months’ supply of aluminum at the current shipping rate, an increase of 8.6% compared to August 2011 inventory totals.