service center shipments trended upward in November vs. the
same month last year, marking the third month in a row of
The market heading
into 2014 is probably stronger than it was at the end of 2012,
according to market sources, although some sources said the
current outlook, while far from pessimistic, is far less
bullish than expectations were going into 2013.
"There is business to
be done and some good opportunities out there. Its just
not the constant order flow that we would hope for," one source
said. "But whatever our problems or headaches are now,
its not as bad or desperate as it was last year."
due to improved demand across the board and low inventories at
end-users and other service centers, the service center source
said. "People just dont have metal on the floor, so any
incremental business that has not been planned for becomes a
rush order. And thats true not just for our customers,
but also for our competitors." That means business activity is
being driven not only by end-user demand but also by service
centers buying and selling among themselves, he said.
centers aluminum shipments totaled 114,900 tons (5,700
tons per day) last month, up 5.3 percent from 109,100 tons
(5,200 tons per day) in November last year, according to the
latest Metals Service Center Institute (MSCI) data. Despite the
gain, year-to-date shipments of more than 1.37 million tons
were down 1.6 percent from nearly 1.4 million tons in the first
11 months of 2012.
374,300 tons (3.3 months supply at current shipping
rates) at the end of November, up 1.5 percent from 368,900 tons
(2.7 months supply) a month earlier and 2.4 percent
higher than 365,300 tons (3.3 months supply) a year
centers shipped 12,800 tons (600,000 tons per day) of aluminum
in November, according to the MSCI, down 2.3 percent from
13,100 tons in the same month last year. Year-to-date shipments
of 144,300 tons were off 2.9 percent from 148,500 tons in the
first 11 months of 2012.
totaled 34,700 tons (2.7 months supply) at the end of
November, up 0.6 percent from 34,500 tons (2.5 months
supply) a month earlier but down 11.7 percent from 39,300 tons
(3.0 months supply) in the same month last year.