Metals Service Centers in North America Show Continued Growth
Nov 19, 2010
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Metals service center shipments in the U.S. and Canada for both steel and aluminum continued increasing in October according to the Metals Activity Report from the Metals Service Center Institute. Inventory-to-sales ratios remained stable for both steel and aluminum in both the U.S. and Canada.

October shipments of steel products from U.S. service centers totaled about 3.03 million tons, or 15.8% more than during the same month in 2009. Shipments for the first 10 months of the year of about 29.9 million tons were 19.4% higher than during the same period last year. At the end of October, steel inventories at U.S. service centers of 7.42 million tons were 25.1% larger than in October 2009 and, at current shipping rates, equal to a 2.4-month supply.

In Canada, October steel shipments from metals service centers totaled 481,600 tons, or 11.6% more than a year ago. Shipments for the first 10 months of the year of 4.77 million tons were 14.7% above those for the 2009 period. Month-end inventories of 1.33 million tons were 37.2% above those at the same time last year and, at current shipping rates, equal to a 2.8-month supply.

October shipments of aluminum products from U.S. metals service centers totaled 116,100 tons, or 25.6% more than October 2009 shipments. For the first 10 months of the year, aluminum shipments of 1.09 million tons were up 24.6% from a year ago. Aluminum inventories, which have been rising in absolute terms since November 2009, totaled 337,000 tons at the end of October. That stockpile was 30.6% larger than totals of a year ago and, at current shipping rates, equal to a 2.9-month supply, the highest since February.

Canadian shipments of aluminum products totaled 11,700 tons in October, a rise of 6.1% from October 2009. Year-to-date total shipments of 113,600 tons at the end of October were up 6.0%. Aluminum inventories at Canadian metals centers of 31,900 tons were 19.9% larger than at the end of the 2009 month and equal to a 2.7-month supply at current shipping rates.

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