Steel Products Prices North America

Port Steel Inventories Declining

Written by Sandy Williams

A quick survey of ports shows good warehouse availability for incoming steel products. Los Angeles and Gulf ports saw a significant decline in steel imports in 2015.

At the Port of Houston steel import tonnage dropped 28 percent from 6.5 million tons in 2014 to 4.6 million tons in 2015. Tubular product imports are expected to continue their downward trend as oil and gas production remains subdued due to low pricing. The Port of Houston Authority expects steel imports at the port to level out at 3 million tons in 2016.

A logistics firm servicing Houston notes they are seeing some increase in imports in first quarter 2016 with reports of continued increases for second quarter. The uptick could be due to a shift in export origin following recent trade cases results that pushed usual exporters out of the market.

Inventory glut from third quarter is dwindling, said the firm, easing demand for space on short term leases. Newly arrived materials are moving out at a rapid pace along with previously arrived materials.

West Coast ports saw a decline of steel imports in 2015. The Port of Los Angeles had 3 million tons of steel breakbulk in 2014 which dropped to 2.6 million tonnes in 2015.

The decrease was attributed to service centers buying at low China prices in 2014 that led to high inventory levels in 2015.

None of the ports contacted, reported any increase in steel exports.

Latest in Steel Products Prices North America