News from AIIS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 14, 2018
Richard Chriss, AIIS President
Alexandria, VA. June 14, 2018. Steel imports increased 12.7 percent from March to April to 3.76 million net tons.
April’s total, which was 12.1 percent higher than the monthly total a year earlier, included 705,000 net tons from Canada (9.2 percent higher than in March and more than a third higher than in April 2017). The United States also imported 478,000 net tons from the European Union (a monthly increase of more than one-fifth, but nearly 14 percent lower than in April of last year), 475,000 net tons from South Korea (nearly 50 percent higher than both the previous month and the previous April), and 467,000 net tons from Russia (a 60.5 percent month-to-month increase and 11.2 percent growth from a year earlier).
Through the first four months of the year, imports were 1.2 percent higher than they were during the same time in 2017 at 12.45 million net tons. The 2.44 million net tons of steel from Canada were up 14.5 percent, the 1.61 million net tons from the European Union marked a 9.4 percent increase, the 1.51 million net tons from Brazil were 1.3 percent higher, and the 1.42 million net tons from South Korea exceeded the total from a year earlier by 17.3 percent.
The increases in imports are hardly surprising, given President Trump’s March announcement of 25 percent tariffs on steel, with temporary exemptions for Canada, the European Union and certain others. Businesses were stocking up as much as they could. With the exemptions expiring on June 1, the numbers will probably be similar in May, followed by a sharp drop-off. After that will likely come a scaling back of capital expenditures, price increases for consumers and a slowdown of what had the potential to be the strongest economic growth in 20 years.