MSCI: US metals shipments down year over year but up from spring 2020 lows

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Like other economic indicators, metals shipments in the US and Canada have come a long way since the bottoming out that occurred last spring (prompted by the onset of the coronavirus pandemic).

According to the Metals Service Center Institute (MSCI), shipments have recovered both in the US and Canada.

However, shipments in January still came in below January 2020 levels.

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US metals shipments remain down year over year

U.S. service center steel shipments in January 2021 decreased by 11.8% year over year, MSCI reported earlier this month.

Meanwhile, shipments of aluminum products decreased by 5.6% year over year.

Canadian shipments

Meanwhile, Canadian metals shipments reflect a similar situation.

Canadian service center steel shipments in January 2021 fell by 6.4% year over year.

On the other hand, aluminum product shipments increased by 3.9% from the same month in 2020.

MSCI on Section 232 tariffs, global overcapacity

In other news, as the MSCI noted, 50 members of the Congressional Steel Caucus sent a letter dated Feb. 1 to President Joe Biden urging him to maintain the Section 232 steel tariff imposed by former President Donald Trump.

The lawmakers argued the tariff action has led to “significant reductions” in imports.

“However, we remain concerned that the industry remains at risk due to the lingering effects of the pandemic,” the letter stated. “We know that as the U.S. economy begins to recover that it will be an attractive market for foreign producers to pursue. This is why we want to ensure that the existing tariffs and quotas remain in place to ensure that imports do not take a significant share of the U.S. market as the nation begins its economic recovery.”

Meanwhile, the MSCI reiterated its stance on the matter, underlining its focus on global overcapacity, particularly from China.

“To address this circumvention, in 2017 MSCI advised federal officials to provide relief for producers up and down the supply chain and to consider the consequences of any new trade policy, including: the economic impact of global overcapacity on the entire domestic metals supply chain; transition times and implementation rules to any new policy; availability of domestic metals to meet U.S. national security needs, as well as general industrial and consumer demand; and trade flows under current free trade agreements, including the United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA),” MSCI said in a release. “MSCI also asked that Canada and Mexico be excluded from any trade penalties.”

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