Metals shipments continue to decline

Metals shipments continue to decline

U.S. and Canadian shipments of steel and aluminum fall again in June, Metals Service Center Institute reports

Shipments of steel and aluminum continued to fall in June, according to the most recent monthly Metals Activity Report from the Metals Service Center Institute. The declines were in line with rates reported in May, the group said.

In the United States, metals service centers reported a nearly 5% decline in steel shipments compared to June 2012 while inventories declined 7.6% in the same time frame. U.S. service centers reported a 5.4% decrease in aluminum shipments compared to the same period last year, with inventories falling 2.7% in the same time frame.

The situation was more pronounced in Canada, where shipments of steel products fell nearly 15% in June compared to June 2012. Canadian service centers reported a 7.4% decrease in inventories compared to a year ago.  Aluminum shipments in Canada fell nearly 5% and inventories fell nearly 2% compared to June 2012.

The report comes on the heels of positive news about the manufacturing sector in June. The Institute for Supply Management reported a return to growth in the manufacturing economy in June following contraction in May. The group’s Purchasing Managers Index, which gauges sentiment among industry purchasing managers nationwide, rose nearly 2% to 50.9 in June, inching above the 50-point mark that indicates growth in the sector. The report also said the overall economy grew for the 49th straight month in June 2012.

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