The American Institute for International Steel attributes Canada’s struggling economy to the weak rise in U.S. steel exports. Canada buys about half of all of the steel that is shipped out of the U.S., according to AIIS. The August 2015 Steel Exports Press Release from AIIS follows:
Falls Church, VA. October 8, 2015. Steel exports inched up in August, but remained well below the level of a year ago.
Exports increased 1.7 percent to 826,470 net tons, as Canada and Mexico modestly boosted their purchases, and shipments to the European Union increased by nearly a third. Monthly exports, though, were still 21.2 percent below the August 2014 total.
August exports to Canada totaled 406,475 net tons, 1.5 percent higher than in July, but almost 30 percent below the previous August. Exports of 316,938 net tons to Mexico, meanwhile, were up 1.8 percent from July but down 12.2 percent from August of last year. Exports to the European Union spiked 32 percent to 32,888 net tons, 6.9 percent higher than a year earlier.
Total exports through the first eight months of the year were down 14.5 percent from 2014 at 6.94 million net tons. Canada, the United States’ largest trading partner, led the decline, with exports to that country decreasing 22.2 percent to 3.38 million net tons. Exports to Mexico dropped 4.3 percent to 2.66 million net tons, while exports to the European Union increased 8.6 percent to 249,387 net tons.
Canada’s economy has struggled all year, and since that nation buys about half of all of the steel that is shipped out of the United States, export numbers are unlikely to grow much until conditions improve north of the border. And, notwithstanding the small increase in exports in August, it may be a while before that happens. The International Monetary Fund recently downgraded its forecast of economic growth in Canada to a dismal 1 percent for this year and a mediocre 1.7 percent in 2016. While the Canadian government is projecting faster growth of 2 percent this year and 2.2 percent next year, even those optimistic numbers are not exactly robust. Consequently, exports to that country will likely remain below their 2014 levels for some time.
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