March 2010 shipments of steel and aluminum products from metals service centers in the United States and Canada rose at double-digit rates from year-ago volume according to the Metals Activity Report from the Metals Service Center Institute. Inventories of both metals in both nations rose slightly.
Shipments of steel products from U.S. metals service centers in March totaled 3.21 million tons, a 24.0% increase from March 2009. First-quarter steel shipments from U.S. metals service centers rose 11.2% above first-quarter 2009 shipments, to 8.45 million tons. Steel inventories at the end of March, at 6.49 million tons, were 17.2% below those of last year and, at current shipping rates, were equal to an unusually low 2.0-month supply.
In Canada, March steel shipments were 516,400 tons, or 15.9% more than March 2009. First-quarter shipments, at 1.41 million tons, were 13.6% higher than during the first quarter of 2009. Inventories of 1.36 million tons were 16.4% above inventories at the same time last year and, at current shipping rates, equal to a 2.6-month supply.
Shipments of aluminum products from U.S. service centers were up 23.7% above March 2009 to 107,900 tons. First quarter 2010 shipments were 291,500 tons, up 11.5% over 1Q 2009. Aluminum inventories at the end of March, at 273,600 tons, were 15.1% below last year’s level and, at current shipping rates, equal to a 2.5-month supply.
Canadian service center aluminum shipments of 12,600 tons were up 13.6% from March 2009. First-quarter shipments, at 33,500 tons, were 1.8% higher than 1Q 2010. Canadian aluminum inventories of 30,700 tons were 4.0% lower than a year ago and, at current shipping rates, equal to a 2.4-month supply.
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