NEW YORK U.S. service center shipments of stainless steel increased 10 percent year on year in December, with shipments for 2013 up marginally, according to the latest Metals Service Center Institute (MSCI) data.
Stainless steel shipments totaled 124,400 tons in December, down 6.5 percent from 133,100 tons in November. Total stainless steel shipments in 2013 exceeded 1.76 million tons, up 0.7 percent from 2012 shipments of just over 1.75 million tons.
U.S. stainless steel inventories totaled 475,700 tons (3.8 months supply) at the end of December, up 5.4 percent from 451,200 tons through November and a 6.7 percent increase from inventories of 446,000 tons a year earlier.
Meanwhile, stainless shipments by Canadian distributors painted a more pessimistic picture, totaling 8,800 tons in Decemberdown 30.2 percent from 12,600 tons the previous month and 11 percent below 9,900 tons a year earlier. Total 2013 shipments of 155,200 tons were down 7.6 percent from a total of 167,900 tons in 2012.
Canadian stainless inventories of 42,100 tons (4.8 months supply) at the end of December were up 5.3 percent from 40,000 tons the previous month and 9.4 percent higher than 38,500 tons a year earlier.