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U.S. and Canadian steel and aluminum shipments continue decline

Le 31 December 2015, 06:44 dans Humeurs 0


    Shipments of steel and aluminum products from metals service centers in the United States and Canada continued to decline in year-over-year comparisons during September, but U.S. inventories of the two metals actually rose slightly from year-ago levels, the Metals Activity Report (MAR) from the Metals Service Center Institute ( shows.

    On a month-to-month basis, with unprecedented economic volatility spreading uncertainty throughout the business community, demand for service center products in the United States and Canada declined in September. Service centers responded to the deteriorating market conditions by reducing total inventories from August levels to bring supply in line with weaker demand. September is the first month to use data based on a new methodology to compute metals service center total shipment levels in the two countries. Similarly, the method used to derive industry-wide figures for month-end inventories has been adjusted to account for the actual experience of participating members better. Historic shipment and inventory data has been restated for both metals and countries to reflect the new methodologies. September shipments of steel products from U.S. metals service centers totaled nearly 3.73 million tons, a decline of 7.6 percent from September 2007. U.S. shipments for the first nine months of the year totaled about 38.08 million tons, down 5.4 percent from a year ago.

    Month-end inventories of steel products totaled 10.66 million tons, 0.9 percent more than a year ago. At the current sales rate, that represents a 2.9-month supply. Canadian service center steel shipments in September totaled 534,100 tons, a decline of 10.6 percent from September 2007. Shipments for the first nine months of the year totaled about 5.36 million tons, down 6.4 percent from the 2007 period. Canadian steel inventories at the end of the month totaled about 1.45 million tons, down 14.9 percent from a year ago and, at current shipping rates, sufficient for 2.7 months. Shipments of aluminum products from U.S. metals service centers totaled 137,200 tons in September, a decline of 3.7 percent from the same month a year ago. Nine-month aluminum shipments total about 1.35 million tons, a decline of 5.7 percent from the 2007 period. Aluminum inventories at the end of September totaled 450,400 tons, or 1.4 percent more than this time a year ago and, at current shipping rates, a 3.3-month supply. In Canada, metals service centers shipped 14,700 tons of aluminum products in September, down 2.8 percent from a year ago. Shipments for the first nine months of the year of 128,800 tons are down 1.7 percent from that period in 2007.

    Aluminum inventories of 37,000 tons are down 9.6 percent from a year ago and, at current shipping rates, represent a 2.5-month supply of the light metal. The Metals Activity Report (MAR), based on data from metals service centers in the United States and Canada, is produced by the Metals Service Center Institute and a third-party econometrics and strategy firm, McCoy, Scott & Co. Founded in 1909, the Metals Service Center Institute has more than 420 members operating from about 1,200 locations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and elsewhere in the world.


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Alcoa foresees 2% decline in 2009 global aluminum demand: CEO

Le 31 December 2015, 04:16 dans Humeurs 0


    Washington (Platts)--13Jan2009US aluminum major Alcoa foresees a 2% decline in global aluminum demandthis year, but with significant production cuts already announced by major producers around the world and with stimulus packages expected to revive major world economies, the aluminum market could soon be balanced, the company said.The 2% drop is on top of a 3% decline in global demand seen in 2008, so thecompany is prepared to continue adjusting supply to demand.Speaking during a conference call this week, Alcoa President and CEOKlaus Kleinfeld said the aluminum industry was caught in a "perfect storm ofhistoric proportions," as prices in second-half 2008 saw an unprecedentedplunge while inventories swelled in London Metal Exchange warehouses.

    But onthe positive side, inventory levels at Alcoa's customers are quite low, so thecompany should see rapid destocking once the economy rebounds. He said currentinventory levels are only maintainable if demand went down further. "Once theeconomy turns, [restocking] will happens pretty instantaneously," saidKleinfeld.Global aluminum consumption in 2009 is expected to total just over 36million mt. Demand from China this year is expected to grow 9%, versus 3%growth in 2008; Europe, down 7% from down 9%; North America, down 10% fromdown 12%; Asia, excluding China, down 2% versus down 4%; CIS, up 3% versusdown 2%; and Brazil, up 5% versus down 1% last year. "The decline in NorthAmerica and Europe is not as dramatic," said Kleinfeld.World production, meanwhile, is expected to be just under 36 million mtthis year. According to Alcoa, some 13% of the world's production is beingcurtailed, with most of that from China (21%), North America (15%) and EasternEurope/Russia (12%). He noted that in Russia, the country is seeing a dramaticdrop in demand, including key markets of automotive, aerospace and packaging.

    In China, the construction sector has seen a 40% plunge and automotive 70%.But the country's stimulus package should flow through the system quickly andgenerate direct demand, he said.World production in 2008 came in at 38.8 million mt, while consumptionwas 37 million mt.Kleinfeld touted that Alcoa "first saw the storm clouds" in early 2007,which allowed it to "stay ahead of the curve and manage our cash position."Chuck McLane, executive vice president and chief financial officer,called these "extraordinary times," citing a 35% drop in aluminum pricesbetween the third and fourth quarters. He said fabrication shipments declinedby historic levels and automotive sales that were down 25% versus 2007. Hesaid these extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures, pointing toAlcoa's recently announced restructuring.Alcoa is to make a further reduction of more than 135,000 mt a year,resulting in a reduction of total primary aluminum output of more than 750,000mt/year, or 18% of annualized output. The company also unveiled a raft ofother cost-cutting and restructuring measures, including a 13% cut in itsworkforce. It also said it would take an after tax restructuring charge of$863 million in the fourth quarter. Last week, ahead of announcing itsresults, Alcoa said the various cost-cutting and restructuring programs it wasputting in place would save it approximately $450 million/year at the pre-taxlevel.     In the alumina segment, Alcoa is expecting a 5% drop in production in thefirst quarter due to its primary production curtailments. In primary aluminum,Alcoa anticipated an 8% drop in production due to its curtailments, includingat the Tennessee smelter. Cost savings from procurement actions on carbonproducts should start to hit the bottom line in Q1, said Alcoa.

       In flat-rolled products, where inventory destocking has hit hard, thecompany is expecting continued weakness in end markets, although input costsare expected to decline. In engineered products, Alcoa foresees in the firstquarter further weakness in commercial transportation and commercialconstruction markets, although productivity initiatives are expected to gainmomentum.     Over the near to medium term, Alcoa is focused on preserving cash andcutting discretionary spending, said McLane.     Against all this negativity in the market, Alcoa "sees a bright futurefor aluminum. Aluminum is the right business to be in over the long haul,"said Kleinfeld.



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China to Boost Nonferrous Metal Demand, Curb Capacity Expansion

Le 30 December 2015, 07:38 dans Humeurs 0


    Feb. 25 (Bloomberg) -- China, the world’s third-biggest economy, will take steps to boost domestic demand for nonferrous metals and “strictly control” capacity expansion under an industry stimulus plan, the government said. The consumer of more than a third of the world’s aluminum output and a quarter of its copper will also expedite mergers in the industry, boost metal recycling and guarantee supply of the raw material, the State Council, or Cabinet, said in a statement on the Web site today.

    The Cabinet passed stimulus plans for the nonferrous-metals and logistics industries in a meeting today chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao. The country has passed stimulus packages for oil, steel and automobile industries this year that will add to the 4 trillion yuan ($585 billion) of spending announced in November to spur economic growth. Emerging markets including China may be the first to recover from the global recession, JPMorgan Chase & Co. said this month. Subsidies will be given to metal producers to help with loan repayments, according to the statement. Reserves of the metal will also be set up, the Cabinet said. To contact the reporter for this story: Helen Yuan in Shanghai at


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