Metal Service Centers Shipments Down Again in November

U.S. 11-month steel shipments decline -38.5%; aluminum is off -39.8%

North America’s metals service center shipments of steel and aluminum declined in November from the October results, though the Metals Service Center Institute reports there are indications of stability in the market. Particularly, the group pointed to the narrower rates of decline for steel shipments by service centers in the U.S. and Canada.

MSCI’s monthly activity report is based on results collected from steel and aluminum service centers in the U.S. and Canada.

U.S. centers November steel shipments amounted to almost 2.33 million tons, -14.1% less than the November 2008 shipment total. During the first 11 months of 2009, U.S. centers’ steel shipments have totaled 27.3 million tons, -38.5% versus January-November 2008.

As November ended, the U.S. service centers carried steel inventories totaling 5.86 million tons, -1.2% less than they held at the end of October, and -35.9% less than in November 2008.

At their current shipping rates, U.S. service centers’ steel inventories represent a 2.5-month supply.

In Canada, November service center steel shipments totaled 429,200 tons, -4.4% less than was shipped in November 2008. For 2009 year-to-date, Canadian steel shipments have shipped almost 4.6 million tons, -27.8% versus the 11-month total for 2008.

Canadian centers’ steel inventories ended November at 994,100 tons, a 2.3% increase from October inventory levels but -18.9% versus November 2008 inventory totals.

At their current shipping rates, Canadian centers’ steel inventories represent a 2.3-month supply.

U.S. service centers’ November aluminum shipments totaled 79,500 tons, -19.1% compared to November 2008 shipments. Year-to-date, the centers’ aluminum shipments total 958,400 tons, -39.8% against January-November 2008 shipments.

November aluminum inventories at U.S. centers totaled 255,900 tons, just -0.8% less than October inventory totals and -30.3% less than November 2008 inventories. At their current shipping rates, U.S. service centers are carrying a 3.2-month supply of aluminum.

Canadian centers’ aluminum shipments totaled 10,600 tons during November, -

16.3% against November 2008 shipments. For the first 11 months of 2009, shipments totaled 117,800 tons, -24.5% less than January-November 2008 shipments.

Aluminum inventories at the Canadian centers were unchanged at the end of November, 26,600 tons, which is -24% less than November 2008 inventories. At their current shipping rates, Canadian service centers are carrying a 2.5-month supply of aluminum.

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