Distributor steel inventories seen staying lean

Jan 16, 2014 | 04:29 PM | Catherine Ngai

Tags  steel, service centers, distributors, Metals Service Center Institute, MSCI, steel shipping volumes, inventory levels, steel demand market conditions

NEW YORK — U.S. and Canadian steel service center data was mixed in December, with lower shipments month over month but higher inventory levels, according to the Metals Service Center Institute (MSCI).

Despite the mixed outlook, buy- and sell-side sources indicated that inventory levels are likely to remain lean through the first quarter on the back of stable demand and concern over the impact of future imports on shipping volumes.

"Business has been really good," one North American mill executive said. "I talked to several key accounts and they’re shipping like crazy. Some major customers saying they’re seeing some great shipping days."....

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