With steel shipments from metals service centers slowly rising, inventories of the metal, in decline since early last year, rose slightly in the United States and Canada, the Metals Activity Report from the Metals Service Center Institute shows. Shipments of aluminum products also rose slightly, but inventories of the light metal continued to decline in both countries.
Steel Product Activity
September shipments of steel products from U.S. metals service centers totalled about 2.56 million tons, down 31.4% from a year ago but ever-so-slightly higher than August shipments. For the year to date, steel shipments of nearly 22.4 million tons are down 41.2% from the same period last year. Monthly steel inventories, which peaked at 11 million tons in August 2008, rose for the first month since then to 5.79 million tons, or 3% higher than at the end of August, although still 45.7% lower than in September 2008. At current shipping rates, that represents a 2.3-month supply.
Canadian service center steel shipments totaled 455,100 tons in September, 14.8% lower than a year ago but 9.5% higher than in August. Shipments for the first nine months of the year total 3.7 million tons, or 30.4% below the same period in 2008. Canadian steel inventories inched higher to 957,300 tons, or 33.9% below the level of a year ago, but 0.17% higher than in August. At current shipping rates, those end-of-September inventories represent an unusually low 2.1-month supply.