Aluminum shipments fall in May: MSCI

Jun 18, 2013 | 05:11 PM | Michael Cowden

Tags  Metals Service Center Institute, aluminum service centers, aluminum distributors, shipments, inventories, automotive, Michael Cowden

CHICAGO — North American service center sources debated the future health of the aluminum market amid news that U.S. aluminum shipments and inventories dipped in May compared with a year earlier.

Some sources expect the second half of the year to be stronger, while others believe that the market will continue to muddle along where it is now. But some are concerned that continually weak shipment data and increasingly stiff competition could signal that manufacturing is in for a difficult year.

U.S. and Canadian service centers saw aluminum shipments decline in May from the same month last year, Metals Service Center Institute data show, while inventories fell in the United States but rose in Canada.

U.S. service centers shipped 132,400 tons of aluminum products last month, down 2.7 percent from 136,100 tons in May 2012, while inventories fell 4.6 percent to 368,000 tons (2.8 months’ supply at current shipping rates) from 385,700 tons (2.8 months’ supply) in the same comparison. Year-to-date shipments of 617,200 tons were down 7.1 percent from 664,200 tons in the first five months of last year.....

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