The American Institute for International Steel (AIIS) said U.S. steel exports increased in August compared to July by 5.5 percent, but were down compared to August 2012 by 2.1 percent, according to government data released late due to the partial government shutdown in October.
“The increase in August was due to a jump in shipments to the Dominican Republic, which imports large tonnages of semi-finished steel products from the U.S.,” said David Phelps, AIIS' president, in a statement.
“Other markets continued on the flat trajectory that has pervaded international markets during 2013. Slight decreases were posted for the largest market, NAFTA, down 1 percent, while a small tonnage decrease was posted for the small export markets in Asia. A small tonnage increase was posted for the EU,” he explained.
Total steel exports were down 8.6 percent for the first 8 months of 2013 compared to the same period in 2012.
“August exports returned to the trend of lower tonnage exports compared to the same month in the prior year as has been experienced in 2013 compared to 2012 — after a slight increase in the month to month comparison in July 2013 compared to July 2012,” Phelps said. “After setting a new record level of steel exports in 2012, international steel markets remain weaker in 2013 and export levels, as reflected in U.S. steel export data. Unfortunately, little suggests that the international economy or steel market show signs of a turn-around to more robust levels at this time.”
AIIS noted total steel exports in August 2013 were 1.147 million tons compared to 1.087 million tons in July 2013, a 5.5-percent increase, and a 2.1-percent decrease compared to August 2012. According to year-to-date figures, exports decreased 8.6 percent compared to 2012, or from 9.534 million tons in 2012 to 8.717 million tons in 2013.