Service Centers

Service Center Flat Rolled Shipments Down 9.2% YOY

Written by John Packard

According to the Metal Service Center Institute (MSCI), U.S. steel service centers shipped 3,465,900 tons of carbon steel (all products) at an average of 157,500 tons per day during the month of April 2015. Total carbon shipments were down 5.6 percent over the previous month and 9.0 percent lower than one year ago. The daily shipment rate, which is what we tend to focus in on, was much lower than the 181,300 tons per day seen last year. April 2015 did have one more shipping day (22) than the same month last year, but that still doesn’t make up for the decline.

Total steel inventories ended the month at 9,483,800 tons, down 74,500 tons or 0.8 percent from March. April inventories are up 10.1 percent over levels one year ago.

The number of months supply increased from 2.6 to 2.7 months (unadjusted) and on a seasonally adjusted basis the inventories rose from 2.8 to 2.9 months.

Carbon Flat Rolled

U.S. distributors shipped a total of 2,266,100 tons of carbon flat rolled in April, a 5.2 percent decrease over March and a 9.2 percent decline over one year ago. The daily shipping rate in April was 103,000 tons, down from 108,600 tons the month before and down from 118,800 tons in April 2014.

Total flat rolled inventories stood at 5,817,500 tons, down 1.0 percent from the month before but up 8.9 percent from levels one year ago. April’s inventory level converts to a 2.6 month supply on an unadjusted basis and 2.7 months on a seasonally adjusted basis, both higher than the previous month which was 2.5 and 2.6 respectively.

Carbon Plate

U.S. service centers shipped a total of 349,700 tons of plate products during the month of April, down 9.5 percent from March and down 7.9 percent from one year ago. The daily shipping rate was 15,900 tons which is 1,700 tons per day less than last month. One year ago, the daily shipment rate was 18,100.

Inventories of plate stood at 1,183,400 tons as of the end of the month of April. This is down 28,500 tons or 2.4 percent from the prior month. Compared to April 2014 plate inventories are up 230,800 tons or 24.2 percent.

The number of months on hand increased from 3.1 to 3.4 months (unadjusted) and 3.4 to 3.6 months (seasonally adjusted).

Carbon Pipe & Tube

Pipe and tube distributors shipped 223,700 tons of pipe and tube products, down 5.8 percent over the prior month and down 7.9 percent over one year ago.

The daily shipping rate for March 2015 was 10,200 tons, down from 10,800 last month. Last year the rate was 11,600 tons.

Pipe and tube inventories stood at 674,900 tons as of the end of April, down 0.7 percent from March but up 2.7 percent over one year ago. This is up on a non-seasonally adjusted basis from 2.9 to 3.0 months. On a seasonally adjusted basis the months on hand rose from 3.0 to 3.1.

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