Shipments of steel and aluminum products by North American service centers showed some improvement during November, with short-term (i.e., month-to-month) rises in tonnages for the Canadian centers and increases for centers in both countries in the year-to-year comparison. Service centers continued to report declines in inventory volumes for both steel and aluminum, according to the Metals Service Center Institute.
The November results are drawn from MSCI’s Monthly Activity Report, which records steel and aluminum delivery totals from service centers in the U.S. and Canada. Service center shipments correspond to a substantial volume of the metals consumed by machine shops, fabricators, and other manufacturers, and the activities at those operations are a reflection of industrial activity in the North America.
U.S. service centers’ steel products shipments totaled 2.96 million tons during November, a drop of 3.8% from October but a 3.3% increase over the November 2015 total. The daily shipping rate fell by about 5,600 tons to 140,800 tons/day, and the year-to-date shipments total rose to 34.77 million tons — which is 6.2% below the 11-month total for 2015.
Steel inventories at U.S. centers stood at 7.03 million tons at the end of November, which is 3.4% lower than in October and 17.7% lower than last November’s total. At their current shipping rate, U.S. service centers are estimated to be holding a 2.4-month supply of steel.
Canadian service centers shipped 398,000 tons of steel last month, 11.6% more than during October and 11.3% more than during November 2015. Their daily shipping rate increased by 1,200 tons to 19,000 tons/day. For the January-November period, Canadian centers’ steel shipments rose to 4.12 million tons, 6.4% lower than the comparable total for 11 months of 2015.
Inventories of steel at Canadian service centers rose slightly (+0.66%) from October, to 1.09 million tons at the end of November. That represents a 5.7% decline from the November 2015 inventory level, and is equal to a 2.7-month supply at the current shipping rate.
U.S. service centers shipped 117,900 tons of aluminum products during November, 4.5% less than during October but 5.3% more than during November 2015. The daily shipping rate fell by 3,000 tons from October, to 5,600 tons/day, and the year-to-date total increased to 1.401 million tons, 4.1% lower than the January-November 2015 total for U.S. centers’ aluminum shipments.
Aluminum inventories at U.S. service centers declined 1.7% from October, finishing November at 379,400 tons. That represents a 3.0% decline from the November 2015 inventory total, and is equal to a 3.2-month supply at the current shipping rate.
In Canada, service centers’ aluminum shipments totaled 11,000 tons in November, 11.1% more than the October total and 8.9% more than the November 2015 total. The daily shipping rate remained flat however, at 5,000 ton/day, and the year-to-date total increased to 114,900 tons, 11.1% lower than last year’s 11-month shipment total.
Canadian centers’ November aluminum inventories fell 1.2% from October, to 30,900 tons; that represents a 3.7% decrease from November 2015 inventory levels, and represents a 2.8-month supply at the current rate of deliveries.