The latest monthly reports for metals service center shipments and inventories suggest weakening industrial activity in the U.S. and Canada, as deliveries of steel and aluminum products declined and inventory levels “deteriorated,” according to the Metals Service Center Institute. MSCI’s Monthly Activity Report tracks results for service centers that process steel and aluminum in the U.S. and Canada.
Service center shipments represent 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.
In July 2015, U.S. service centers shipped 3.44 million tons of steel during July, 3.5% less than the June shipment total and 7.0% less than the July 2014 tonnage. The daily shipping rate declined 3.7% from June to 156.5 tons/day.
The seven-month total for U.S. service centers’ steel shipments is 24.28 million tons, down 5.3% from the January-July 2014 shipment total.
As for steel inventories, U.S. service centers reported 9.18 million tons of steel in stock, down 5.0% from the July 2014 inventory report, and representing a 2.7-month supply at the current rate of deliveries.
Canadian service centers’ steel shipments fell to 413,000 tons during July, a decrease of 14.4% from June, and a like decline (-14.4%) from July 2014. The daily shipping rate also fell 14.1% from June, to 18,800 tons/day. Year-to-date steel deliveries by Canadian service centers rose to 3.17 million tons after seven months, down 7.9% compared to the seven-month total for 2014.
Steel inventories at Canadian service centers rose to 1.63 million tons during July, an 11.0% increase over the July 2014 inventory total. At their current rate of deliveries, MSCI estimated that Canadian service centers have a 3.9-month supply of steel products.
U.S. service centers’ July aluminum products deliveries declined 3.3% from the June total to 138,300 tons. That figure represents a 0.6% decline from the July 2014 result. The daily shipping rate slipped 3.0% to 6,300 tons/day, and the year-to-date total for aluminum deliveries rose to 952,700 tons, up 0.9% compared to the January-July 2014 total.
U.S. centers’ aluminum products inventories are estimated at 400,800 tons, up 3.1% compared to July 2014’s report, and the equivalent of a 2.9-month supply at the current rate of deliveries.
Canada’s service centers shipped 13,400 tons of aluminum last month, 9.46% less than during June and 3.1% less than during July 2014. The daily shipping rate slipped 14.3% to 600 tons/day, and the year-to-date shipment total increased 0.8% from the January-July 2014 total, now standing at 95,300 tons of aluminum.
Canada’s centers reported aluminum inventories of 41,400 tons, down 7.4% from the July 2014 inventory estimate. It represents a 3.1-month supply of aluminum at current delivery rates.