SMU Data and Models

SMU “Flash” Report: Distributor Inventories Dip to 2.6 Months

Written by John Packard

The following report was originally published last week for our Premium level members. The SMU service center inventories months of supply index began in July 2017 and we continue to add flat rolled and plate steel distributors to our confidential data provider list. If you would like to be added to our data provider list please contact us at:

So far this month, Steel Market Update has had a strong response rate from the service centers registered as inventories data providers. As of Thursday afternoon, we had 79 percent of the steel service center data providers respond to our inquiry about their flat rolled and plate steel inventories.

The headline number is flat rolled inventories dropped, although not as radically as some might have been thinking. At the end of February, steel distributors were averaging 2.8 months of supply on their floors. According to our Flash analysis, SMU is seeing inventories dropping to 2.6 months of supply.

This is the lowest level we have recorded since we began measuring flat rolled inventories as of the end of July 2017.

Of those responding about March inventories:

• 21% reported inventories as being higher than what was reported as of the end of February.

• 21% reported inventories as being the same as the end of February.

• 58% reported inventories as moving lower compared to the end of February.

We anticipate that we will have our final service center inventories report available either over the weekend or early next week.

If you have any questions, please contact John Packard at or 800-432-3475.

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