MSCI: Shipments Maintain Momentum
April shipments of steel and aluminum from service centers in the United States and Canada maintained the upward momentum that has been building this year, according to the Metals Activity Report from the Metals Service Center Institute, Rolling Meadows, Ill. In the United States, steel shipment growth remained at nearly the same high level established in March, and aluminum shipments grew at a double-digit rate, although somewhat less than in March. The rate of growth in Canadian shipments dipped from March, but year-to-date shipments still increased from 2009.
Steel product activity
U.S. service centers shipped 3.0 million tons of steel in April, or 22.3 percent more than during April 2009. That brought year-to-date shipments to about 11.5 million tons, or 13.9 percent more than during the same period last year. U.S. service center steel inventories at the end of April totaled 6.7 million tons, about 5.6 percent lower than a year ago and equal to a 2.2-month supply.
April steel shipments from Canadian service centers of 492,600 tons were 9.2 percent higher than in April 2009 and brought year-to-date shipments to about 1.9 million tons, a 12.5 percent rise from last year’s period. Canadian steel inventories of 1.4 million tons were 17.1 percent larger than at the same time last year and equal to a 2.8-month supply.
Aluminum product activity
Shipments of aluminum products from U.S. service centers totaled 103,800 tons in April, or 13.6 percent greater volume than in the same month in 2009. For the first four months of the year, shipments totaled 395,300 tons, a 12 percent gain from a year ago. U.S. service center aluminum inventories totaled 280,500 tons at the end of April, or 6.0 percent below stockpiles at the end of April 2009. That equals a 2.7-month supply at April shipping rates.
In Canada, April aluminum shipments of 11,300 tons were 3.0 percent above those of the same month last year and brought the year-to-date total to 44,800 tons, a 2.1 percent rise above the year-ago period. Service center aluminum inventories of 32,100 tons were 3.2 percent higher than those at the same time in 2009 and represent a 2.8-month supply.