Steel distributors brace for further slowdowns

Aug 16, 2012 | 02:28 PM | Corinna Petry

Tags  Metal Service Center Institute, steel shipments, inventories, distributor outlook, manufacturing, energy, agricultural equipment

CHICAGO — Steel distributors have lowered their expectations through the end of the summer, with many continuing to buy conservatively and sell off stock.

"It’s slower this summer than in the past couple summers," said a Canadian steel service center executive. "Whether that’s because there was a stronger pickup in spring, which pulled forward production, we aren’t sure. That may have resulted in a halt in July (and) August (activity)."

Shipments by U.S. steel distributors in July totaled 3.3 million tons, down 6.3 percent from 3.5 million tons in June, while Canadian shipments were down 11.3 percent to 471,000 tons, data from the Metals Service Center Institute show.....

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