North American metals service centers’ October shipments continued to decline on a year-over-year basis, though in one noteworthy instance the tonnages increased significantly over the previous month’s total. Inventories also declined year-over-year, continuing a trend that has been in progress for several months, according to the Metals Service Center Institute.

The data is drawn from MSCI’s Monthly Activity Report, which records steel and aluminum delivery totals from service centers in the U.S. and Canada. Service center shipments correspond to a substantial volume of the metals consumed by machine shops, fabricators, and other manufacturers, and the activities at those operations are a reflection of industrial activity in the North America.

U.S. service centers shipped 3.07 million tons of steel products during October, 9.6% more than during September but 8.6% less than during October 2015. The average daily shipping rate for steel products rose by slightly more than one ton per day to 146.4 tons/day. Through the first 10 months of 2016, U.S. service centers have shipped 31.8 million tons of steel products, which is 7.0% less than the January-October 2015 total.

Steel inventories at U.S. service centers declined by 4.3% from September to October, and fell 18.4% below the October 2015 level, finishing October 2016 at an estimated 7.26 million tons. At their current shipping rate, U.S. service centers are holding a 2.4-month inventory of steel products.

Canadian service centers shipped 356,600 tons of steel products during October, 3.8% les than during September and 6.1% less than during October 2015. The average daily shipping rate declined by 2.4 tons to 6.1 tons/day, while the year-to-date volume rose to 3.725 million tons, 8.0% less than Canadian centers’ January-October 2015 shipment total.

Canadian centers’ steel inventories fell 3.2% from September to October, and fell 11.2% from October 2015, closing out the month at 1.08 million tons. That total represents a 3.0-month supply at the current rate of shipments.

U.S. service centers shipped 123,500 tons of aluminum products during October, 2.5% less than during September and 8.5% less than during October 2015. The daily shipping rate fell only slightly to 5.9 tons/day, though that figure is 8.5% less than the October 2015 daily shipping rate. The January-October total for aluminum products shipments is 1.28 million tons, 4.9% less than the comparable total for 2015.

Aluminum products inventories at U.S. service centers fell 17.5% from September, and 3.8% from October 2015, finishing October 2016 at 386,000 tons. At their current rate of deliveries, U.S. service centers are holding a 3.1-month supply of aluminum.

In Canada, service centers shipped 9,900 tons of aluminum products during October, which is 9.2% less than their September shipments and 12.7% less than the October 2015 shipments. The daily shipping rate remained steady at 0.5 tons/day for the third consecutive month. The year-to-date aluminum shipments total for Canadian centers is now 103,900 tons, 12.8% less than last year’s 10-month total.

Inventories of aluminum products at Canadian centers rose 3.3% from September to 31,300 tons, though that total is 7.6% less than last October’s inventory total. At their current rate of shipments, Canada’s service centers are holding a 3.2-month supply of aluminum products.