Aluminum service centers optimistic despite dip

Feb 19, 2013 | 04:58 PM | Michael Cowden

Tags  Metals Service Center Institute, MSCI, service centers, U.S. aluminum product shipments, Canadian aluminum product shipments, inventories, federal budget impasse, sequestration cans

CHICAGO — Aluminum product shipments by U.S. and Canadian service centers fell in January compared with a year earlier, with some market observers blaming the decline on the inability of U.S. lawmakers to come up with a budget plan and the big cuts in government spending that could result.

But others contended that their own companies had seen shipment gains, arguing that the economic outlook for 2013 is brighter than that of a year ago.

U.S. service centers shipped 126,100 tons of aluminum products last month, up 37.2 percent from 91,900 tons the previous month but down 5.6 percent from 133,600 tons in January 2012, according to Metals Service Center Institute (MSCI) data. Inventories totaled 366,400 tons (2.9 months’ supply at current shipping rates) at the end of January, up 0.2 percent from 365,600 tons (4.0 months’ supply) at the end of December but down 2.1 percent from 374,300 tons (2.8 months’ supply) a year earlier.....

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