Metal service centers’ January steel and aluminum shipments showed little indication of reversing the downward trend that prevailed in the past year, though their inventory positions appear to be solidifying. Steel deliveries by U.S. service centers had the worst showing among the indexes released by the Metal Service Center Institute in its monthly Metals Activity Report. The results were better for U.S. centers’ aluminum shipments, and both metals performed well for Canadian service centers.
MSCI’s Metals Activity Report details shipment and inventory totals for steel and aluminum at service centers 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.
U.S. service centers shipped 3.053 million tons of steel products during January, 9.9% less than their December shipments, and 13.3% less than their January 2015 shipments. Their daily shipping rate - 152,700 tons – showed a significant (20.9%) improvement over the December daily shipping rate.
Steel inventories at U.S. service centers declined 4.1% from December to January, and their current inventory estimate – 7.95 million tons — is 20.1% less than the January 2015 inventory total. MSCI estimated that at their current delivery rate U.S. service centers are holding a 2.6-month supply of steel products.
January steel shipments by Canadian service centers totaled 389,700 tons, up 4.3% from December but down 4.0% from the January 2015 total. The daily shipping rate of 19,500 tons rose 50% over the December daily rate.
Canadian service centers reported 1.25 million tons of steel products in inventory at the end of January, 7.2% more than they reported for December but 19.2% less than they reported for January 2015. At the current rate of shipments, the Canadian centers are estimated to have a 3.2-month supply of steel products.
Aluminum shipments by U.S. service centers rose 9.7% from December to January, totaling 123,000 tons; the total is 5.6% less than the January 2015 delivery total. Service centers’ daily shipping rate for aluminum products was 6.1 tons, nearly even with the year-ago daily rate.
U.S. centers’ aluminum inventories declined 2.8% from December to January, ending the month a 382,100 tons. This figure is 6.3% less than the January 2015 inventory report.
At their current rate of deliveries, MSCI estimated that U.S. service centers are carrying a 3.1-month supply of aluminum products.
Canadian service centers shipped 9,800 tons of aluminum products during January, 29.0% more than during December but 15.1% less than during January 2015. The daily shipping rate was 50 tons, up from a 40 tons/day rate for December.
Aluminum inventories a Canadian centers slipped 0.6% from December, to 30,500 tons; that represents a 22.0% drop from the January 2015 inventory total. At their current rate of deliveries, Canada’s service centers are estimated to have a 3.1-month supply of aluminum products in inventory.