Steel Products Prices North America

AIIS: Steel Exports Dip in July

Written by Sandy Williams

AIIS, Falls Church, VA. September 5, 2014 — Steel exports continued to trend downward in July, slipping 3.3 percent to just over 1 million net tons.

While exports to Canada were virtually unchanged from June to July at 536,892 net tons, and the amount of steel sent to Mexico increased 7.4 percent to 366,732 net tons, exports to most of the United States’ minor trading partners were down. Brazil accounted for more than 40 percent of the overall decrease, with steel exports to that country dropping nearly 73 percent to 5,406 net tons. The European Union brought in 26,664 net tons of American steel in July, 6.3 percent less than a month earlier. Steel exports to most countries were also substantially lower than they were in July 2013, though Mexico was up 3.8 percent from a year earlier.

For the first seven months of the year, steel exports decreased 6.6 percent from the same period in 2013 to 7.07 million net tons. Canada was down 5 percent to 3.77 million net tons, while Mexico was up 2.7 percent to 2.42 million net tons. Year-to-date exports to the European Union decreased 17.4 percent to 198,900 net tons. One of the few countries that has been buying more American steel this year is Russia, with 2014 exports to that nation increasing 124 percent to 12,346 net tons. That trend took a hit in July, though, as exports to Russia dipped 90 percent from 6.092 net tons in June to 595 net tons in July.

Analysts continue to say that healthy and consistent economic growth is just ahead of us and, if this is true, it would almost certainly have a positive impact on steel sales. Nearly 90 percent of all steel exports go to North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) trading partners, and a healthier American economy would likely be felt both north and south of the border. The absence of protectionist policies means that trade between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico is shaped by market forces. If and when the market strengthens, and businesses gain confidence that the quarter-to-quarter volatility that we have seen so far this year is unlikely to repeat itself, steel exports will likely grow stronger, as well.

To view the rest of the AIIS press release, click here.

Latest in Steel Products Prices North America