Metal service centers’ January steel and aluminum shipments showed little indication of reversing the downward trend that prevailed in the past year, though their inventory positions appear to be solidifying. Steel deliveries by U.S. service centers had the worst showing among the indexes released by the Metal Service Center Institute in its monthly Metals Activity Report. The results were better for U.S. centers’ aluminum shipments, and both metals performed well for Canadian service centers.

MSCI’s Metals Activity Report details shipment and inventory totals for steel and aluminum at service centers in the U.S. and Canada. Service center shipments represent a substantial volume of the metals consumed by machine shops and fabricators, and the activities at those operations are a reflection of industrial activity in the North America.

U.S. service centers shipped 3.053 million tons of steel products during January, 9.9% less than their December shipments, and 13.3% less than their January 2015 shipments. Their daily shipping rate  - 152,700 tons – showed a significant (20.9%) improvement over the December daily shipping rate.

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