The rate of growth of steel and aluminum shipments from North American metals service centers rebounded in August, according to the Metals Activity Report from the Metals Service Center Institute. Inventories of both metals changed very little during the month in both the United States and Canada.
August shipments of steel products from U.S. metals service centers totaled nearly 3.2 million tons, or 25.5% more than in August of 2009. Steel shipments for the first seven months of the year of about 23.7 million tons are 19.3% higher than during the first seven months of 2009. U.S. steel inventories of 7.4 million tons at the close of August were 32.4% larger than in August 2009 and, at current shipping rates, represented a 2.3-month supply.
Shipments of steel from Canadian metal centers totaled 489,600 tons in August, or 17.8% more than during the same month last year. Shipments for the first seven months of 2010 of nearly 3.8 million tons are 15.5% higher than a year ago. Canadian steel inventories totaled about 1.3 million tons at the end of August, 33.8% higher than a year ago and equal to a 2.6-month supply at current shipping rates.
Shipments of aluminum products from U.S. metals service centers totaled 126,600 tons, or 47.6% more than in August 2009. For the first seven months of the year, U.S. aluminum shipments of 860,400 tons were 22.9% ahead of those from last year. Aluminum stockpiles at metals service centers totaled 322,300 tons at the end of August, 23.4% larger than a year ago and equal to a 2.5-month supply at current shipping rates.
In Canada, 11,300 tons of aluminum were shipped in August, up 11.3% from a year ago, bringing year-to-date shipments to 89,800 tons, a rise of 5.6% from last year. Aluminum inventories totaled 31,700 tons at Canadian metals service centers at the end of August, 7.5% more than a year ago and equal to a 2.8-month supply at current shipping rates.
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