While US April deliveries of steel rose almost 6 over March and more than 2 over April 2012 the yeartodate total for 2013 is off by 45 versus the comparable period of 2012

Steel Strong, Aluminum Steady in April Shipments

May 22, 2013
Daily delivery rates rise Year-to-date volumes lag Inventory levels declining

Shipments of steel and aluminum from North America’s metals service centers increased during April, increasing their daily shipment rates, and inventories of steel products declined for centers in the U.S. and Canada.

The information is based on the Metals Service Center Institute’s Monthly Activity Report, which is based on data supplied by participating metals service centers for both countries.

Service centers’ steel deliveries totaled 3,629,500 tons across the U.S. during April, rising +5.9% from 3,428,100 tons during March.  The daily shipping rate also rose, from 163.2 tons/day during March to 165 tons/day currently.

The April figure also represents a +2.1% improvement over the comparable April 2012 figure, 3,553,500 tons.

The year-to-date total for steel shipments from U.S. service centers is now 14,068,700 tons, which is a decline of -4.5% versus the January-April 2012 total.

The U.S. service centers reported steel inventories totaling 8,312,000 tons as April closed, -9.1% less than the April 2012 inventory total. It represents a 2.3-month supply of steel at the current shipping rate, which is down slightly from the March supply total.

April aluminum shipments by U.S. service centers rose to 127,500 tons, a +9.1% improvement over the March total of 116,900 tons. The daily shipping rate also rose, from 5.6 tons/day to 5.8 tons/day.

Year-on-year, U.S. centers aluminum shipments decreased 1.2% from the April 2012 total.

The four-month total for U.S. aluminum shipments is 484,800 tons, a -8.2% decline versus the January-April 2012 total.

Service centers’ aluminum inventories at the end of April increased 1.3% from March to April, from 362,400 tons to 367,100 tons. The new total is a -2.6% decline from the April 2012 inventory level, and it represents a 2.9-month supply for U.S. centers.

Similar Trends in Canada

Canada’s service centers shipped 525,500 tons of steel during April, a +11.9% improvement on the March result, 472,200 tons.

The current annual total for Canada’s steel shipments is 1,983,100 tons, a decline of -9.8% versus the comparable period of 2012.

The monthly improvement raised the Canadian operations’ daily shipping rate for steel to 23.9 tons/day, from 23.6 tons/day during March.

As for inventories, Canada’s service centers report 1,620,800 tons of steel are available, declining -6.4% from the March inventory level. It represents a 3.1-month supply of steel at the current shipping rate.

Lastly, Canadian service centers shipped 14,100 tons of aluminum during April, an increase of +9.3% over the March total of 12,900 tons, and a +5.4% rise over the April 2012 total. The year-to-date shipment total for aluminum products is now 52,500 tons, -5.0% down from the January-April 2012 total.

Canadian service centers’ current daily shipping rate for aluminum products is 6,000 tons, unchanged from the March result.

Finally, the Canadian centers reported aluminum inventories of 37,100 tons at the end of April, down from 37,800 tons at the end of March, and representing a 2.8-month supply at the current shipping rate.

About the Author

Robert Brooks | Content Director

Robert Brooks has been a business-to-business reporter, writer, editor, and columnist for more than 20 years, specializing in the primary metal and basic manufacturing industries. His work has covered a wide range of topics, including process technology, resource development, material selection, product design, workforce development, and industrial market strategies, among others. Currently, he specializes in subjects related to metal component and product design, development, and manufacturing — including castings, forgings, machined parts, and fabrications.

Brooks is a graduate of Kenyon College (B.A. English, Political Science) and Emory University (M.A. English.)

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