Exports to non-NAFTA Americas continue to grow

Following a record year in 2008, American steel exports have turned down sharply in the first two months of 2009 compared to 2008.’ Exports to nearly every region of the globe, except for non-NAFTA Western Hemisphere countries and Africa fell, some significantly.’ Africa bucked the trend with a small increase in the year to date period, while non-NAFTA Americas export market grew by 17.4%.

‘The global recession has predictably affected US exports of steel products, which declined by 34.4% overall in the first two months of 2009 compared to 2008.’ In a testament to the CAFTA and other trade liberalizing agreements such as with Peru and Chile, exports of steel continued on their growth path, increasing by 17.4%, notwithstanding the general economic conditions of the world economy,’ said David Phelps, president, AIIS.

‘AIIS believes that these data are proof that the best medicine for our economic troubles is more trade and liberalization, not less.’ Turning to protectionist measures at this time would be disastrous for the US and world economy,’ concluded Phelps.

Total Steel exports in February 2009 were 603 thousand tons compared to 680 thousand tons in January 2009, a 11.5% decrease, and a 35.9% decrease compared to February 2008. According to year-to-date figures, exports decreased 34.4% compared to 2008 or from 1.96 million tons in 2008 to 1.28 million tons in 2009. For the first two months figures for the western hemisphere increased from 118 thousand tons in 2008 to 139 thousand tons in 2009, a 17.4% increase. However, figures for NAFTA decreased from 1.53 million tons in the first two months of 2008 to 948 thousand tons in 2009, a 38% decrease. For Asia figures show a 32.9% decrease or from 153 thousand tons in the first two months in 2008 to 102 thousand tons in 2009. ‘(AIIS)