U.S. Steel Imports Rise in October
“Steel imports jumped in October as pricing for semi-finished steel products, used by the domestic industry to augment their raw steel capacity, strengthened this fall. Semi-finished imports accounted for over three-fourths of the increase in the month-to-month comparison. While we believe that for the most part the improvement in market conditions reflects re-stocking by service centers and distributors – and not a real improvement in underlying demand — import arrivals reacted predictably during the month in response to improved market conditions. Of note in the data was the decline in rebar arrivals and the decline in imports from both Turkey and Mexico, as the protectionist trade case filed against these imports began to hinder trade, to the detriment of importers, logistics companies, and rebar consumers. Moreover, the domestic industry appears to be returning to protectionist actions again, with trade case filings threatened,” said Richard Chriss, executive director of AIIS.
Steel imports for the year-to-date period declined 4.5%, while October 2012 compared to October 2013 increased by 17.3%. “The year-to-date data show that the steel market is weaker in 2013 compared to 2012 overall but the decline in market conditions late in 2012 stands in contrast to improving market conditions in late 2013. While underlying demand in late 2013 is stronger than in 2012, there is little reason to believe that the current conditions will be sustained unless or until the non-residential construction market returns to health — which most pundits believe will not happen until 2015,” concluded Chriss.
Total steel imports in October 2013 were 3.058 million tons compared to 2.820 million tons in September 2013, an 8.4% increase, and a 17.3% increase compared to October 2012. For the year-to-date period, imports decreased from 28.293 million tons in the ten months of 2012 to 27.008 million tons in the same 2013 period, a 4.5% decrease. The data show that imported semi-finished products increased by 71.3% in October 2013 compared to October 2012, from 482 thousand tons in 2012 to 826 thousand tons in 2013, based on preliminary reporting. For the year-to-date period, imported semi-finished products decreased from 6.289 million tons in the first ten months of 2012 to 6.024 million tons in the same 2013 period, a 4.2% decrease.
The American Institute for International Steel is the only steel-related association that supports free trade. The Institute accomplishes its mission through advocacy, networking, communications, and education.