Jan. 20, 2016

Steel, Aluminum Shipments Decline in 2015

The Metals Service Center Institute’s December Metals Activity Report was welcome news for one reason—it signaled the end of a dismal 2015. Shipments of steel and aluminum products by service centers in both the United States and Canada were down significantly from 2014, ranging from modest drops for nonferrous material to sizable declines for steel products.

The past year was a tough slog for steel suppliers from the outset, with year-to-date shipments trailing the prior year in every month of 2015. Steel shipments ended the year down 7.5 percent in the U.S. and 9.8 percent in Canada.

Aluminum held up better through most of the year, modestly outpacing 2014 through September. The softening manufacturing economy, as reflected in the second-half slide in the Institute for Supply Management’s monthly PMI, eventually caught up to nonferrous, as well. Full-year aluminum shipments by distributors in the U.S. dipped 1.1 percent to 1.6 million tons, while Canadian shipments of 156,400 tons were down 2.8 percent. Perhaps most worrisome, some of the largest year-over-year shipment declines occurred in December, with double-digit drops in all categories except U.S. aluminum products, suggesting that the trend may continue into 2016.

On a more positive note, inventory levels reached 2015 lows as winter hit, with stocks of steel at U.S. and Canadian service centers and aluminum at Canadian warehouses all down more than 15 percent from their high points earlier in the year. Service centers clearly spent much of the past year trying to unload material in a declining pricing environment. Even with the inventory cuts, the average months on hand for material in North American warehouses remained higher than average.

The early returns for the new year are a little more promising. Domestic steel mills have made one round of price hikes and have called for a second. Perhaps that’s a sign pricing has reached bottom and the supply chain can expect more favorable metals activity in 2016.
 

September 2017: Numbers Don’t Add Up for Service Centers
More...
 
Pause
September 2017: Lichtenstein: Five Steel Truths that Demand Attention
More...
Fall 2016: Cutting & Sawing Equipment
More...
Summer 2017
More...
 
Pause
Advanced Controls on Braner Slitters
More...
AHVS Precision Leveler Features Flip-Top Design
More...
Formtek’s Tishken Slitter Increases Production Volume
More...
Red Bud System Handles High-Strength Steels
More...
Bradbury Launches Flat Trak CL Monitoring System
More...
Artus Knives Custom Designed
More...
 
Pause
Privacy Statement  |  Terms Of Use
Copyright by Metal Center News



Tuesday, October 17, 2017