US steel distributors eye declines ahead

Oct 15, 2013 | 04:12 PM | Corinna Petry

Tags  Metals Service Center Institute, MSCI, steel shipments, service cenetrs, steel inventories, government shutdown, corinna petry

CHICAGO — U.S. and Canadian service centers’ steel shipments were mixed in September, rising from a year earlier but falling vs. August, with the market’s course unclear.

Some distributors saw worse results than anticipated for the end of the third quarter.

"September was down by over 20 percent from August for us," a source at one Chicago-area flat-rolled distributor told AMM. "In October, we are seeing a 5- to 10-percent reduction (in shipments) from September."

A New York-area sheet distributor said he hadn’t yet detected a direct impact from the government shutdown but believes demand is trailing off as a result of that, as well as wrangling over the government’s debt ceiling. "I don’t think anyone is in the mood for higher numbers," he said, and that includes pricing. "I don’t think higher pricing is warranted, at least based on demand."....

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