North American service centers’ shipments of steel and aluminum products rose significantly during January 2017, with double-digit increases from December’s results and narrower but still notable year-on-year rises from January 2016. Inventory levels also rose slightly. The data is found in the Metals Service Center Institute’s monthly Metals Activity Report, which tracks shipments and inventory levels at service centers in the U.S. and Canada.
The month-to-month (December to January) increases were above 20% for the U.S. centers, and above 40% for the Canadian centers.
Service center shipments correspond to a substantial volume of the metals consumed by machine shops, fabricators, and other manufacturers, and the activities at those operations are a reflection of industrial activity in the North America.
U.S. service centers shipped 3.34 million tons of steel products during January, 29.2% more than during December, and 9.4% more than the January 2016 shipment total. The daily shipping rate rose by 36,000 tons to 159.1 tons/day.
Those U.S. centers’ reported inventory total at the end of January was 7.29 million tons, 8.3% less than last January’s inventory total, and equal to a 2.2-month supply of steel at the current rate of shipments, according to the Metals Service Center Institute’s estimate.