Following a dip in February, when many parts of the United States were still suffering the impact of a harsh winter, exports responded well to the milder weather that followed, surging 15 percent in March. This increase put the monthly export total at more than 1 million tons for the first time since October. Canada, which receives more than half of all U.S. steel exports, boosted its total by more than 17 percent compared to February, while Mexico, which accounts for about one-third of the nation’s steel exports, brought in nearly 14 percent more than it did the previous month. Exports to European Union countries grew by more than 12 percent during the month, but they still represent less than 3 percent of the total.
While exports to both Canada and Mexico showed nominal increases over March 2013, total steel exports were down 5.5 percent from a year earlier, as exports to many smaller trading partners dropped precipitously, including a nearly 25 percent year-over-year decline for European Union countries. The U.S. is seeing strong growth in exports to Venezuela, China and Brazil compared to 2013, however. While those nations account for just 3.6 percent of the country’s exports, that percentage is 2½ times larger than it was a year ago. Year-to-date exports to those three countries have also increased – by a factor of five, in Venezuela’s case – even as weak January and February numbers produced a 9.5 percent drop in total exports for the first three months of the year.
By Paul Ploumis
Originally posted by ScrapMonster