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AIIS: January 2016 Steel Exports

Written by Sandy Williams

We thought our readers might enjoy looking at steel exports data out of the United States from an international perspective. The following is from an American Institute for International Steel (AIIS) press release sent out earlier today:

Falls Church, Va. March 15, 2016. Steel exports in January regained some of the ground they lost in 2015, growing by 7.8 percent from December, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Exports totaled 782,172 net tons, which, despite the month-to-month increase, was still 15.5 percent less than the January 2015 total.

Canada was responsible for much of the growth, with exports north of the border increasing by 12.2 percent to 391,338 net tons. This was 18.6 percent less than the previous January. Exports to Mexico inched up 1.8 percent to 298,293 net tons, down 11.6 percent from a year earlier, while exports to the European Union grew by 7.7 percent to 18,936 net tons, down 40.1 percent from January 2015. Exports to Chile increased nearly 16-fold to 12,505 net tons, more than six times the total from the preceding January. The growth in exports to Chile was part of a slightly larger – but still minor – trend: The Western Hemisphere – not including Canada and Mexico – was the only region to which the United States exported more steel in January 2016 than it did in January 2015, with the numbers increasing 18.1 percent to 33,584 net tons.

The January increase is clearly a positive for exporters, but doubts remain as to whether it is a trend or a fluke. With Canada and Mexico accounting for around 90 percent of the United States’ steel exports, the economies in those countries largely determine the level of exports. And, following economic growth of just 1.2 percent in 2015, things are still looking grim in Canada, with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development forecasting an expansion of only 1.4 percent this year. Mexico is healthier, with growth of 2.5 percent last year and the most optimistic projections for 2016 exceeding 3 percent. However, the strong dollar will tend to discourage purchases of steel in Mexico from U.S. companies. 

(Source: AIIS Press Release)

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