Steel exports increased in March over February by 6.1 percent based on government reporting reviewed by the American Institute for International Steel (AIIS).
“The stronger showing for steel exports in March was due primarily to increased shipments to our NAFTA partners, but notably, exports increased to all other smaller export markets as well, with the exception of the small markets in Africa,” explained David Phelps, AIIS president, in a statement.
“While the trend might hold for our NAFTA trading partners going forward, the small increase in exports to the EU is open to question given economic challenges faced there. The increase in non-NAFTA Western Hemisphere exports is encouraging,” he said.
For the first quarter of 2013 compared to the first quarter of 2012, exports declined 12.6 percent. “The first quarter decline reflects the slower start to the year in NAFTA and other international markets. While demand conditions in some critical steel markets remain healthy in the NAFTA region, providing some reason for optimism going forward, it is difficult to predict the direction of other international markets that have become increasingly important export destinations for U.S.-made steel,” Phelps said.
Total Steel exports in March were 1.1 million tons compared to 1.036 million tons in February, a 6.1 percent increase, and an 8.6 percent decrease compared to March 2012. According to year-to-date figures, exports decreased 12.6 percent compared to 2012 or from 3.677 million tons in 2012 to 3.214 million tons in 2013, AIIS said.