US steel service center inventories, shipments declined sharply in 2009
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The Metals Service Center Institute (MSCI) reported Tuesday that inventories of steel products at metals service centers in the US and Canada rose slightly in December as shipments of those products declined.
However, on the bright side, said MSCI, "For the first time in more than a year, the monthly rate of decline in steel shipments moved into the single digits in the United States and were flat in Canada."
MSCI also said that final 2009 service center shipment numbers demonstrate the significant impact that the recession has had on the metals industries.
December shipments of steel products from US metals service centers totaled 2.24 million tons, a decline of just 5.5 percent compared with December 2008 volume, said MSCI. In all, 2009 steel product shipments totaled nearly 29.6 million tons, a year-over-year decline of 36.8 percent. Year-end steel inventories totaled 6.14 million tons, down 29.0 percent from the end of 2008. At current shipping rates that stockpile equaled a 2.7-month supply.
Canadian service center steel shipments totaled 322,400 tons in December, unchanged from December 2008 shipments. Canadian steel shipments for the full eyar were down 26.4 percent, to 4.92 million tons. Canadian service center steel inventories ata the end of December were 1.04 million tons, or 10.5 percent lower than a year ago, and equal, at current shipping rates to a 3.2-month supply.