Aluminum distributors divided over MSCI data

May 16, 2013 | 05:56 PM | Michael Cowden

Tags  MSCI, aluminum, shipments, plate, rod, bar, aerospace, automotive chemical

CHICAGO — Service center sources are divided over whether recent data that showed declines in U.S. aluminum shipments and inventories last month indicate tough times ahead.

Some market sources argued that they had yet to see optimistic talk translate into increased orders as customers continue hand-to-mouth buying patterns, while others said they have seen a significant uptick in both orders and inquiries for the May-June timeframe and expect a strong finish to the year and an even stronger 2014.

One service center source said his company had seen orders for most products dip in 2013 compared with last year. In plate, for example, the trend has hit shipments to the aerospace, defense and general fabrication industries on a combination of economic uncertainty, a supply glut, reduced government spending, customer wariness to restock amid falling prices, and a general lack of business activity, he said.....

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