The American Institute for International Steel reported shrinking steel exports in February over January, especially for the NAFTA region, which represents about three-quarters of total U.S. steel exports.
The association reported a 9-percent drop in U.S. steel exports to Canada, and an almost identical 9.3 percent drop of these shipments to Mexico.
“One likely explanation is that by most accounts, during the mid-January through February time period, there was less steel moving in North America during one of the harshest winters the Midwest has seen in many years,” the association said.
In contrast, February-over-January U.S. steel exports to the European Union showed a gain of 13.3 percent, although February 2014 exports to the region were down by nearly 25 percent compared to February 2013.
The association said “mixed February over January 2014 export results were seen in Asia, with a modest 8.8-percent gain in U.S. steel exports to China, a nearly 50-percent decline to Korea, and a 14.4-percent increase to Singapore.”
Total steel exports in February were 904,000 tons compared to 963,000 tons in January, a 6.1-percent decrease, and a 12.8-percent decrease compared to February 2013. According to year-to-date figures, exports decreased 11.7 percent compared to 2013, or from 2.114 million tons in 2013 to 1.867 million tons in 2014, the association said.