Steel imports saw a slight decline in March compared to February, but “favorable” economic signs remain, according to the American Institute for International Steel.
“We are seeing a slight retreat in imports, but at the same time we see some overall favorable signs for the economy in the first quarter of 2014,” said AIIS Executive Director Richard Chriss. “The Federal Reserve’s measure of industrial production increased 0.7 percent in March, and has moved up at an annual rate of 4.4 percent -- a healthy sign. These improving indicators would seem to support the idea that demand is better, but it also seems that many customers are unconvinced, and are still hesitant to buy.”
Total steel imports in March 2014 were 3.218 million tons compared to 3.250 million tons in February, a 1-percent decrease, but a 25.2-percent increase compared to March 2013.