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Sept. 18, 2013

Service Center Shipments Fall Back in August
 
After an encouraging start to the second half, U.S. service center shipments backslid a bit in August, compared to the previous year, in both steel and aluminum, according to the latest Metals Activity Report from the Metals Service Center Institute, Rolling Meadows, Ill. The year-over-declines in Canada were more severe.

U.S. service centers shipped 3.6 million tons of steel products in August, a decrease of 0.6 percent from the same month last year. For the year to date, steel shipments totaled 28.2 million tons, down 3.0 percent compared to last year.

U.S. steel product inventories totaled 7.9 million tons at the end of the month, down 11.3 percent from a year ago, but an increase of 1.2 percent from July. At August shipping rates, that represented 2.2 months of supply, down from 2.5 months last year.

U.S. service centers shipped 133,100 tons of aluminum products in August, a decline of 0.8 percent from the same month in 2012. Year-to-date aluminum shipments totaled 1.0 million tons, down 4.6 percent from last year.

U.S. inventories of aluminum products totaled 365,000 tons at the end of August, a decrease of 4.1 percent from 2012, and down 0.1 percent from July. At August shipping rates, that represented 2.7 months of supply, down from 2.8 months in 2012.

Canadian service centers shipped 478,700 tons of steel products in August, down 6.8 percent from the same month last year. For the year to date, steel shipments totaled 3.9 million tons, down 9.3 percent.

Canadian steel product inventories totaled 1.4 million tons at the end of the month, a decrease of 14.4 percent from last year, and a decrease of 0.7 percent from July. At August shipping rates, that represented 2.9 months of supply, down from 3.2 months in 2012.

Canadian service centers shipped 12,700 tons of aluminum products in August, a decrease of 5.1 percent from the same month in 2012. Year-to-date aluminum shipments totaled 105,000 tons, down 3.9 percent from 2012.

Canadian inventories of aluminum products totaled 35,800 tons at the end of August, a decrease of 8.6 percent from 2012, and flat from July. At August shipping rates, that represented 2.8 months of supply, down from 2.9 months last year.

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