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AIIS: March 2016 Steel Exports

Written by Sandy Williams

The following is the March steel exports report from the American Institute for International Steel:

Falls Church, VA. May 11, 2016. Steel exports changed little from February to March, though they remained well below the level of a year earlier.

The 775,270 net tons of exports were 0.5 percent less than the previous month and 13.5 percent less than in March 2015.

Exports to Canada dipped 2.1 percent to 400,906 net tons – 5.3 percent below the level of a year earlier – while exports to Mexico rose 2 percent to 289,544 net tons – nearly 20 percent less than in the preceding March. The 20,122 net tons of exports to the European Union, though up 12.9 percent from February, were down 35.2 percent from March of last year.

Through the first quarter of 2016, total exports fell 13.5 percent compared to the same time in 2015 to 2.34 million net tons. Year-to-date exports to Canada slipped 9.6 percent to 1.18 million net tons, and exports to Mexico declined 15.9 percent to 883,366 net tons. Exports to the European Union through the first three months of the year were down 48.8 percent compared to last year at 56,882 net tons.

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Two key factors for steel exporters in the United States continue to be the health of the Canadian and Mexican economies. Some analysts are forecasting zero or, even, negative growth for Canada in the second quarter, partly because of the wildfires in Alberta. On the plus side, though, Mexico’s economic growth exceeded expectations during the first quarter, expanding at an annualized rate of 3.2 percent. A third variable is, of course, the monetary exchange rate, and if the U.S. dollar remains as strong as it is, even steel buyers in a healthy economy will have reason.

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