Deliveries of steel and aluminum by North American service centers appeared to recover some momentum during May, “substantially” slowing the rate of decline for shipments (according to the Metals Service Center Institute), while inventory levels appeared to stabilize. The results are found in the latest release of MSCI’s monthly Metals Activity Report, which details shipment and inventory totals for steel and aluminum at service centers in the U.S. and Canada.
Service center shipments correspond to 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 3,204,800 tons of steel products during May, 12.7% less than during April, but more notably 2.3% less than during April 2015. The May result represents the third consecutive month for a decline in the year-over-year tonnage for U.S. service center’s steel shipments. The daily shipping rate for the month declined slightly (-1.3%) from the previous month to 152.6 tons/day, and the year-to-date shipment total rose to 16.017 million tons, 7.3% less than the May 2015 YTD total.