SMU Data and Models

SMU “Flash” Report: Distributor Inventories at 2.6 Months

Written by John Packard

Steel Market Update began working with a large group of flat rolled and plate steel service centers last July regarding producing a new index for distributor inventories. Our initial concentration has been to collect the number of months of supply steel distrubutors were averaging as of the end of the month. Earlier this week, we provided our “Flash” Report on inventories to our Premium level members. In the next few days we will provide our Premium members with our full analysis. Here is what we reported in our “Flash” Report:

With 66 percent of our service center data providers reporting, flat rolled inventories were modestly lower as of the end of April at 2.6 months of supply compared to March when inventories were at 2.7 months.

A large percentage (52 percent) of the companies reporting told SMU their number of months of supply for flat rolled declined as of the end of April compared to what was reported for the previous month. The remaining 48 percent was evenly split between those reporting higher inventories (24 percent) and those reporting their number of months of supply as being the same as the prior month (24 percent).

Plate Inventories

For the first time, Steel Market Update is reporting on the number of months of supply of plate products being held at our reporting service centers. With 75 percent of the plate service centers reporting, plate inventories are at 2.2 months of supply. No comparison is available since this is the first month we are reporting on plate.

About SMU Service Center Inventories Flash Report

When we first began working on our service center inventories data, we were asked to provide a report within the first week of the month. This is so managers of the distributors could get an early indicator on inventories, so they can make more informed decisions prior to the final reports being released. Our full report should be available no later than May 14.

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