December U.S. service center total shipments continued to decline falling 3.1% on a three month moving average basis, (3MMA) y/y and were down 14.4%, 3MMA compared to two years ago. Pipe and tube shipments fell the most, down 13.4%, while sheet products were flat y/y, but down 10.5% vs. two years ago (Table 1). Overall inventories fell across the board (-14.1% for all products), except for structurals which posted a 3.8% increase 3MMA y/y. Overall intake was up 2.3% with a mixed bag across the product lines ranging from up 6.8% for pipe & tube to down 4.8% for bar and shapes.


Table 1

Canadian September service centers total shipments increased by 4.5%, 3MMA y/y but remain down 14.6% compared to two years ago. Shipments were higher across all product groups led by bar & shapes which swelled 34.1% 3MMA y/y and posted stronger numbers than both two and three years ago. All other product groups recorded increases ranging from +1.1% for sheet to +4.7% for pipe and tube, (Table 2).

Overall inventories levels were essentially flat 3MMA y/y, off -0.3%. Bar and shapes were up 9.5% and sheet was up 2.4%, 3MMA y/y. All other product groups recorded declines. Overall intake on all carbon products surged by 31.0%, 3MMA led by a 41.4% spike from bar & shapes and a 49.7% jump from sheet products. Pipe & tube was the only product group to post a decline in intake, off 2.1%, 3MMA y/y.