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U.S., Canadian Metals Growth Rate Declined in February
Apr 1, 2011
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Inventory-to-sales ratios of steel and aluminum products at North American metals service centers rose in February as shipments of those products – although above levels of February 2010 - showed lower growth rates than in January 2011. These results comes from the Metals Activity Report from the Metals Service Center Institute shows.

February shipments of steel products from U.S. metals service centers were 3.2 million tons, or 20.2% greater volume than in February 2010. MSC said these were good shipping levels but still lagged behind the 3.42 million tons and 32.5% year-over-year growth rate achieved in January. For the first two months of 2011, U.S. metal center shipments of steel totaled 6.61 million tons, 26.2% more than the same period in 2010. At current shipping rates, month-end inventories of nearly 7.94 million tons of steel were equal to a 2.5-month supply.

Shipments of steel from Canadian metals service centers were 500,300 tons in February, up 12.2% from a year ago but below January 2011 shipments of 545,100 tons. Total steel shipments for the first two months of the year of 1.05 million tons were 17.5% greater than during the same months last year. Month-end steel inventories totaled 1.52 million tons, up 20.2% from a year ago and equal to a 3.0-month supply at current shipping rates.

Shipments of aluminum products from U.S. metals service centers in February 2011 were 113,300 tons, or 25.9% more than February 2010. Aluminum shipments for the first two months of the year were 234,600 tons, 27.8% above those of a year ago. U.S. aluminum inventories of 358,100 tons were 37.3% greater than at the end of February last year and represented a 3.2-month supply at current shipping rates.

Canadian aluminum shipments of 10,900 tons in February were 5.7% above February 2010. Year-to-date shipments, at 22,900 tons, were up 9.6% from a year ago. Canadian inventories of aluminum products at the end of February totaled 30,400 tons, 0.5% below year ago inventories and equal to a 2.8-month supply at current shipping rates.

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