U.S. steel imports increased in November compared to October by 2 percent, according to preliminary government data analyzed by the American Institute for International Steel (AIIS).
“Steel arrivals continue to limp ahead with demand essentially unchanged when the November imports were ordered,” said AIIS President David Phelps in a statement. “Both NAFTA totals and non-NAFTA imports were essentially unchanged in the month to month comparison as consumers continued to show caution in their import ordering.”
Imports for the year-to-date period were 17 percent higher in 11 months of 2012, compared to 2011.
“The improvement of the steel market in 2012 continues to be reflected in both the import and domestic industry data,” Phelps said. “Uncertainty for many business decisions late in the year related to the pending ‘fiscal cliff’ slowed economic growth and therefore affected steel consumption, but with the ‘fiscal cliff’ negotiations now concluded and the cliff apparently avoided, we are optimistic that the market will return to growth.”
Total steel imports in November 2012 were 2.659 million tons compared to 2.606 million tons in October 2012, a 2 percent increase, and a 25.4 percent increase compared to November 2011. For the year-to-date period, total imports increased from 26.451 million tons in the first 11 months of 2011 to 30.952 million tons in the same 2012 period, a 17 percent increase.
The data show that imported semi-finished products increased by 42.9 percent in November 2012 compared to November 2011, from 470,000 tons in 2011 to 672,000 tons in 2012 and for the year to date period increased from 6.194 million tons to 6.961 million tons, AIIS said.