Steel Products Prices North America

AIIS Reports February Steel Imports Up 25.9% YOY

Written by John Packard

Imports of foreign steel increased during the month of February compared to the prior month. Steel Market Update carefully monitors total steel imports, slab imports, hot rolled, cold rolled, galvanized and Galvalume imports as well as plate (coiled and sheet) and oil country tubular goods (OCTG). The U.S. Government recently released preliminary census data for February and we are sharing a press release on the subject from the American Institute for International Steel (AIIS).

Falls Church, VA. March 28, 2014. Steel imports increased in February compared to January by 1.4 percent according to preliminary data for February released by the U.S. Government. “Improved pricing at the end of 2013 and improved demand compared to the weak start to 2013 have created opportunities for importers, and imports have been arriving at more healthy levels so far in 2014.   We have been predicting a better start to the year since late 2013, and the AIIS monthly importer survey supports our optimistic view,” said Richard Chriss, executive director, AIIS.

For the first two months of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013, steel imports are up by 25.9 percent. “AIIS trading company members as well as all of our members who provide port-related and other logistics services have benefitted from the healthy start to this year. As we approach the seasonally strong second quarter, the beginning of the construction season, and the end of winter weather-related complications, we are optimistic about 2014 at this point. Recent positives include price announcements coming from domestic mills that suggest that market conditions remain positive. Whether it can be sustained remains of course an open question this early in the year, and is dependent on factors such as the direction of the critical non-residential construction market in 2014,” concluded Chriss.

Total steel imports in February 2014 were 3.250 million tons compared to 3.205 million tons in January 2014, a 1.4 percent increase, and a 29.6 percent increase compared to February 2013. For the year- to – date period, imports increased from 5.125 million tons in the first two months of 2013 to 6.455 million tons in the same 2014 period, a 25.9 percent increase. The data show that imported semi-finished products increased by 22.7 percent in February 2014 compared to February 2013, from 622 thousand tons in 2013 to 763 thousand tons in 2014, based on preliminary reporting. For the year-to-date period, imported semi-finished products increased from 1.095 million tons in the first two months of 2013 to 1.527 million tons in the same 2014 period, a 39.5 percent increase.

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