After increasing their steel and aluminum delivery volumes during August, U.S. metals service centers turned in much lower totals during September, and Canadian centers showed slight increases in steel shipments but a small decline in aluminum deliveries.  Those results reflect the month-to-month change in activity, while the year-to-year results declined “across the board,” according to the Metals Service Center Institute.

The figures are drawn from MSCI’s Monthly Activity Report, which details 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 3.04 million tons of steel products during September, 9.9% less than during August and 6.6% less than during September 2015. The daily shipping rate fell by nearly 2 tons to 145 tons/day during September, and year-to-date steel shipments total rose to 28.7 million tons, down 6.8% versus the January-September 2015 total.

U.S. centers’ steel inventories slipped 3.0% from August to September, and currently are estimated at 7.6 million tons, down 17.2% versus the September 30, 2015 inventory estimate. At their current rate of deliveries, MSCI estimates that U.S. service centers are holding a 2.5-month supply of steel.

Steel shipments from Canadian service centers ticked up 1.6% from August to September, totaling 370,800 tons. That represents a decline of 8.5% versus the September 2015 total, and the daily shipping rate rose by 1.1 tons to 17.7 tons/day.

Inventories of steel at Canada’s service centers fell 2.8% from August to September, finishing the month at 1.12 million tons. That total is 15.8% lower than last September’s inventory total, and leaves the Canadian centers with a 3.0-month supply of steel at the current delivery rate.

U.S. service centers shipped 126,700 tons of aluminum during September (excluding extrusions), 8.1% less than during August and 2.5% less than during September 2015. The daily shipping rate remained even at 6.0 tons/day, and the 2016 aluminum shipment total rose to 1.16 million tons, 4.5% less than last September’s YTD total.

U.S. service centers’ aluminum inventories fell 1.97% from August to September, and now are estimated to be 392,900 tons. That figure is 1.8% less than last September’s inventory estimate. At the current rate of deliveries, MSCI estimates that U.S. service centers are carrying a 3.1-month supply of aluminum products.

Canadian service centers shipped 10,900 tons of aluminum products during September, 0.9% less than the August total, and 15.2% less than the September 2015 total. The Canadian daily aluminum shipping rate remained unchanged in September, at 500 tons/day. The annual shipment total rose to 94,000 tons, and that figure is 12.8% less than last Septembers YTD total.

Inventories of aluminum products (excluding extrusions) fell 2.9% from August to September, finishing the month at 30,300 tons. That indicates a 21.4% drop from last September’s inventory level, and is equivalent to a 2.8-month supply of aluminum products at the current rate of deliveries.