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Steel Exports from U.S. Drop 17.2% in 2015

Written by Sandy Williams

Steel exports from the U.S. dropped 17.2 percent in 2015 to an annual total of 9.97 million net tons. The strong U.S. dollar and a recession in Canada contributed heavily to the decline, says the American Institute for International Steel.

More than half of U.S. steel exports go to Canada each year. In 2015 the amount of steel exported to our Northern neighbor declined by 23.3 percent to 4.9 million net tons. AIIS reports that the decrease of 1.5 million net tons accounted for about 75 percent of the overall export decline.

Steel exports to Mexico made up the remainder of the decrease, falling 8.1 percent to 3.83 million net tons in 2015. Exports to the EU fell 2 percent to 326,911 net tons.

December exports improved slightly, with the monthly total up 1.9 percent to 725,720 net tons. Exports to Mexico gained 10.2 percent from November, totaling 293,098 net tons but were down 12.5 percent year-over-year. Steel exports to Canada dropped 4.2 percent in December to 348,755 net tons, a 25.8 percent decline from the previous December. Exports to the EU grew 1.6 percent to 17,583 net tons, down 27.4 year-over-year.

AIIS comments:

“2016 may be a better year for exports, with moderate economic growth forecast for Canada and a stronger expansion expected in Mexico. Even if demand increases, though, the exchange rate is making American steel much more expensive abroad than it was even a year ago. This probably will not change until the global economy strengthens, and investors do not feel as much of a need to flock to the safety of the U.S. dollar. Exports, then, will probably not return to the 1 million net tons or more level last seen in 2014 for some time.”

(Source: AIIS Press Release)

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