Association News

March Steel, Aluminum Shipments Seesaw in U.S., Canada

By on

Shipments of U.S. aluminum and Canadian steel products increased in March, while Canadian aluminum and U.S. steel shipments fell slightly during the month, according to the latest Metals Activity Report from Rolling Meadows, Ill.-based Metals Service Center Institute.

U.S. service centers shipped 3.6 million tons of steel products in March, down 1.7 percent from the same month last year and up 9.3 percent from February. Year-to-date shipments of 10.4 million tons were up 2.4 percent over the first three months of 2017.

Service center steel inventories totaled 7.8 million tons at the end of March, an increase of 7.9 percent from the same time last year and 0.5 percent from the previous month. At March shipping rates, that represented 2.2 months of supply, up from 2.0 months last year.

U.S. service centers shipped 157,800 tons of aluminum products during the month, up 1.7 percent year over year and 11 percent from February. Through March, total shipments of 450,100 tons were up 8.3 percent from last year.

U.S. service center inventories of aluminum products totaled 408,600 tons in March, an increase of 5.5 percent from last year but a decrease of 1 percent from the previous month. At March shipping rates, that represented 2.6 months of supply, up from 2.5 months in March 2017. 

Canadian service centers shipped 435,600 tons of steel products during the month, an increase of 3.4 percent from March 2017 and 12 percent from February. Year-to-date shipments increased 2.5 percent to 1.2 million tons. 

Service center steel inventories in Canada totaled 1.1 million tons at the end of the month, a decrease of 4.5 percent from the year-ago period and 3.1 percent from the previous month. At March shipping rates, that represented 2.6 months of supply, down from 2.8 months at the same time last year.

Canadian service centers shipped 10,900 tons of aluminum products in March, down 2.8 percent from the same month in 2017 but up 17.2 percent from February. Year-to-date aluminum shipments of 30,900 tons decreased 1.5 percent, compared with the first three months of 2017. 

Canadian inventories of aluminum products totaled 31,200 tons at the end of March, an increase of 0.7 percent from a year ago and a decrease of 1.6 percent from February. At March shipping rates, that represented 2.9 months of supply, up from 2.8 months last year.