Service Center Shipments See Slower Growth in July
The rate of growth of steel and aluminum shipments from service centers in the United States and Canada slowed in July. Inventories of both metals, expressed in terms of months of supply on hand, rose in both countries, according to the latest Metals Activity Report from the Metals Service Center Institute, Rolling Meadows, Ill.
July shipments of steel products from U.S. service centers rose 14.5 percent above year-earlier levels to about 2.87 million tons. This compares with year-over-year growth of 30.8 percent and 29.4 percent in June and May, respectively. Steel shipments for the first seven months of the year totaled nearly 20.5 million tons, or 18.4 percent above the same period in 2009.
U.S. steel inventories at the end of July of 7.46 million tons were 30.2 percent higher than a year ago. At current shipping rates, that stockpile equals a 2.6-month supply, up from a 2.3-month supply at the end of June and 2.4 months at the end of May.
Shipments of steel from Canadian metal centers in July totaled 421,900 tons, or 5.9 percent more than during the 2009 month. This compares with year-over-year growth of 28.6 percent in June and 23.3 percent in May. Shipments for the first seven months of the year of about 3.3 million tons were 15.2 percent higher than those of the same period last year. Canadian steel inventories of about 1.3 million tons were 29.7 percent above those at the end of July 2009 and, at current shipping rates, equal to a 3.1-month supply. This compares with inventories equal to a 2.6-month supply at the end of June, and 3.0 months at the end of May.
Shipments of aluminum products from U.S. service centers in July totaled 118,000 tons, or 31.6 percent more than in July 2009. June shipments were 37.7 percent above those of a year earlier. For the first seven months of the year, U.S. aluminum shipments totaled 733,800 tons, a rise of 19.5 percent above the year-ago period. Inventories at the end of July of 317,900 tons were 19.3 percent higher than a year ago and equal to a 2.7-month supply at current shipping rates. This compares with a 2.5-month supply at the end of June.
Canadian service center aluminum shipments of 9,900 tons in July were 1.3 percent above those of a year ago; monthly shipments were up 12.2 percent in June and 11.6 percent in May over the same month in 2009. For the year to date, shipments of 78,500 tons were 4.8 percent above those of the same 2009 period. Canadian aluminum inventories at the end of July totaled 32,000 tons, or 4.7 percent more than in the same month last year. At current shipping rates, that equals a 3.2-month supply, compared with a 2.4-month supply at the end of June.