October service center total carbon steel shipments increased by 12.2% month on month (m/m). However, on a tons per day basis, (October had one additional shipping day compared to September) shipments were higher by 1.9% m/m. On a three month moving average, (3MMA) basis, year to date, (YTD) comparison, total carbon steel shipments increased by 4.3%. Bar & shapes shipments led the advance rising by double-digits on a percentage basis m/m.

msci-fig1 Table 1 shows percentage change results for shipments, daily intake and inventory level. In all cases the percentage change references 3MMA year on year (y/y). For shipments and inventory, three columns of data are listed offering 12, 24 and 36 month changes.

Overall shipment have now moved higher in each of the last ten months when examined on a 3MMA y/y basis. All products groups except Pipe & Tube posted year on year increases in shipments. Bar & Shapes recorded the strongest growth y/y, up 19.3%, 3MMA y/y. Structurals, (> or = 3 inch) 3MMA y/y shipments grew by 9.9%. Plate shipments were up 5.1% 3MMA y/y, as Sheet deliveries moved-up, 2.7%, 3MMA y/y. Pipe & Tube shipments were flat 3MMA y/y. Bar and Shapes shipments had a strong month helped by a 42.1%, 3MMA y/y surge in alloy bar shipments, a 24.3%, 3MMA y/y bump for cold finished and a 15.4% increase in special bar quality, (SBQ). Merchant bars shipments pulled the average down somewhat, falling 4.0%, 3MMA y/y.

Overall inventory levels moved-up 6.0%, 3MMA y/y, as pipe & tube fell 4.2% y/y, Sheet inventory was up 4.2% and Structural inventory was higher by 12.6% y/y. Inventory jumped by 12.2% y/y for Bar & Shapes and was higher by 15.1% y/y for plate. Months on hand stood at 2.31 overall on a 3MMA look, ranging from a low of 2.19 for sheet products to a high of 2.92 for plate.

Intake was higher across the board, up 13.5%, 3MMA y/y. Plate intake surged by 25.7%, followed by a 23.3% jump for Bar and Shapes and a 22.1% rise for Structurals. Pipe & Tube intake grew by 17.2%, while sheet moved higher by 11.7%.

At Gerdau we scrutinize the MSCI release every month searching for clues on the industry’s performance. It’s important to us as a significant supplier of long steel products to our service center customers. It’s equally important to keep our steel consuming consumers informed.