MSCI: Metals Growth Rate Declines in February
Inventory-to-sales ratios of steel and aluminum products at North American service centers rose in February as shipments of those products, while still above levels of a year ago, increased at lower growth rates than in January, according to the latest Metals Activity Report from the Metals Service Center Institute, Rolling Meadows, Ill.
February shipments of steel products from U.S. service centers totaled about 3.2 million tons, or 20.2 percent greater volume than during February 2010. Those shipping levels, although good, lagged the 3.42 million tons and 32.5 percent year-over-year growth rate achieved in January. For the first two months of the year, U.S. metal center shipments of steel totaled 6.61 million tons, 26.2 percent more than the same period last year. Month-end inventories of nearly 7.94 million tons of steel were equal to a 2.5-month supply.
Shipments of steel from Canadian service centers totaled 500,300 tons in February, up 12.2 percent from a year ago but below the previous month’s shipments of 545,100 tons. Total steel shipments for the first two months of the year of 1.05 million tons were 17.5 percent greater than during the same months last year. Month-end steel inventories totaled 1.52 million tons, up 20.2 percent from a year ago and equal to a 3.0-month supply.
Shipments of aluminum products from U.S. service centers in February totaled 113,300 tons, or 25.9 percent more than volumes from February 2010. Aluminum shipments for the first two months of the year of 234,600 tons were 27.8 percent above those of a year ago. U.S. aluminum inventories of 358,100 tons were 37.3 percent greater than at the end of February last year and represented a 3.2-month supply.
Canadian aluminum shipments of 10,900 tons in February were just 5.7 percent above volume for the same month last year. Year-to-date shipments, at 22,900 tons, were up 9.6 percent from a year ago. Canadian inventories of aluminum products at the end of February totaled 30,400 tons, 0.5 percent below year-ago inventories and equal to a 2.8-month supply.