First time in over 50 years

Final steel export and import data reveal that in August, for the first time in over 50 years, the US was a net exporter of steel.‘“This dramatic development shows the increasing importance of US exports of steel to’international markets which’are returning to stronger levels of’demand,‘as well as the high value placed on the quality of the American made steel and the efficient service provided by steel trading companies,” said David Phelps, president, AIIS.

According to US Government data, total exports in August were 800 thousand tons while total imports were 975 thousand tons. Semifinished imports were 156 thousand tons.’ Imports of hot rolled for conversion were more than 30,000 tons for the port serving the’re-rolling’operation in’Pittsburgh,‘California based on US Government import data.’ These imports alone are sufficient to make US a net exporter for the month.’ Other rerolling operations’are also importing, but those data are more difficult to segregate and’could be as high as another 30,000 tons based on estimates.

“While the US steel market has not returned to levels of demand that have as yet justified any significant improvement in imports,‘exports are a bright spot’for domestic mills and steel trading companies.’ With some’developing countries’‘demand improving prior to’many developed countries, along with the weak dollar, there appears to be good opportunities for exports of American made steel going forward,’ concluded Phelps. (AIIS)