Service center shipments of steel and aluminum products declined across North America during April, while inventory totals showed some leveling trends in the U.S. but ticked upward in Canada. The data is found in the latest release of the Metals Service Center Institute’s 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.
Shipments of steel products by U.S. service centers totaled 3.246 million tons during April, 2.6% less than during March and 6.3% less than during April 2015. The daily shipping rate rose 6.7% from March, however, to 154.6 tons/day. Through the first four months of 2016, U.S. service centers have shipped 12.8 million tons of steel products, which is 8.5% less than the January-April 2015 total.
U.S. service centers’ steel products inventories fell 0.4% from March to April, to 7.65 million tons. That total is down 19.3% from the April 2015 inventory total, and represents a 2.4-month supply at the current delivery rate, according to MSCI’s estimate.
Canadian centers’ steel shipments (excluding structural steel products) totaled 372,800 tons during April, 4.9% less than the March total and 12.9% less than the April 2015 result. The daily shipping rate remained unchanged from March at 17.8 tons/day. For the year-to-date, Canada’s service centers have shipped 1.55 million tons of steel products, 6.8% less than last year during the same four-month period.
Inventories of steel products (excl. structurals) rose 6.9% from the March total, to 1.27 million tons, though that figure is 20.7% less than last April’s inventory total. MSCI estimated the Canadian service centers are carrying a 3.4-month supply of steel products.
U.S. service centers’ aluminum shipments during April slipped 7.4% from March to 128,000 tons, which is 8.8% less than the April 2015 total. The daily shipping rate rose very slightly to 6.1 tons/day, and the year-to-date aluminum shipments rose o 516,200 tons. That figure is 4.4% less than the January-April 2015 aluminum shipments total.
Aluminum products inventories at U.S. service centers rose slightly (+0.13%) from March to 384,100 tons, which is 3.4% less than the April 2015 aluminum inventory total. At their current rate of deliveries, MSCI estimated that U.S. service centers are holding a 3.0-month supply of aluminum products.
Canada’s service centers shipped 10.0 tons of aluminum products (excluding extrusions) during April, 13.0% less than during March and 15.8% less than during April 2015. The daily shipping rate remained unchanged for the fourth consecutive month at 0.5 tons/day. The January-April total for aluminum shipments by Canadian service centers is 41.8 million tons, which 10.7% less than the four-month result in 2015.
Inventories of aluminum products (excl. extrusions) at Canadian service centers rose 5.0% from March to 33.2 million tons, 12.4% less than the April 2015 inventory total. MSCI estimated the new total represents a 3.3-month supply at that current shipping rate.