U.S. steel exports increased in May over April by 11.6 percent, according to government data analyzed by the American Institute for International Steel (AIIS).
“Exports of American made steel increased in May primarily due to improved shipments to our NAFTA partners and other countries in the Western Hemisphere,” said David Phelps, AIIS president, in a statement. “Exports increased slightly to Asia and declined to Europe. While the increase in May is encouraging, economic conditions in many international markets are in turmoil, especially Asia and the EU, making it difficult to conclude that the May data are the beginning of a positive trend at this point.”
However, for the first five months of this year compared to 2012, exports declined by 11.3 percent.
“The data show that U.S. exports declined to all international markets for the first five months of the year compared to the same period of 2012. These data reflect a pattern of weakness in 2013, especially in the NAFTA and other Western Hemispheric markets,” Phelps explained. “The declines are substantial, even for the smaller markets, such as the EU and Asia. Economic weakness in many of our trading partners clearly is having a negative impact on the U.S.’s steel export trade.”
Total steel exports in May were 1.163 million tons compared to 1.041 million tons in April, an 11.6 percent increase, and a 7.9 percent decrease compared to May 2012. According to year-to-date figures, exports decreased 11.3 percent compared to 2012 or from 6.106 million tons in 2012 to 5.418 million tons in 2013.