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April 30, 2014

Steel, Aluminum Shipments Rebound in March

North American service centers rebounded from the rough winter with increased shipments of both steel and aluminum in March, according to the latest Metals Activity Report from the Metals Service Center Institute, Rolling Meadows, Ill. Shipments of all products, except Canadian steel, outpaced 2013 through the first three months of the year.

U.S. service centers shipped 3.7 million tons of steel products in March, up 7.2 percent from the same month in 2013. For the year to date, shipments increased 2.5 percent to 10.7 million tons.

Service center steel product inventories totaled 8.3 million tons at the end of the month, down 2.7 percent from March 2013 and 3.6 percent from February. At March shipping rates, that represented 2.2 months of supply, down from the 2.5 months the previous year.

U.S. service centers shipped 135,300 tons of aluminum products during the month, an increase of 15.8 percent from March 2013. Through three months, year-to-date shipments totaled 394,100 tons, 10.3 percent better than the previous year.

U.S. service center inventories of aluminum products totaled 379,100 tons at the end of the month, up 4.6 percent from the same month last year and up 1.0 percent from February. At March shipping rates, that represented 2.8 months of supply, down from 3.1 months the previous year.

Canadian service centers shipped 499,700 tons of steel products during the month, a 5.8 percent increase from March 2013. For the year to date, Canadian shipments declined 1.0 percent to 1.4 million tons.

Canadian steel product inventories totaled 1.5 million tons at the end of the month, a decrease of 14.9 percent from the same month in 2013, but an increase of 5.5 percent from February. At March shipping rates, that represented 2.9 months of supply, down from 3.7 months last year.

Canadian service centers shipped 13,700 tons of aluminum products in March, an increase of 6.6 percent from the same month in 2013. Year-to-date shipments of aluminum products totaled 39,400 tons, an increase of 2.6 percent over last year.

Canadian inventories of aluminum products totaled 38,300 tons at the end of the month, an increase of 1.1 percent from last year, but down 2.5 percent from February. At March shipping rates, that represented 2.8 months of supply, down from 2.9 months last year.

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