Monday, March 2, 2015

Steel Producers: Something's Gotta Give

This article was first published by Seeking Alpha on February 5, 2015.

As per the latest preliminary data, the steel imports into the U.S. have climbed to 3.93 million tonnes in January, showing an increase of 19.7% from the previous month and 35.1% from the same month last year.
South Korea played a key role in driving higher steel shipments, thanks to the 73% and 53% increases in imports on a month-over-month and year-over-year basis of seamless rolled steel products, such as oil drilling pipes.

What is particularly striking about the steel import numbers is that it shows an all-time record for the month of January, beating the previous January high of 3.18 million tonnes back in 2006, as per a recent report from Axiom Capital's Gordon Johnson emailed to me. The January imports were also the second-highest the U.S. has ever seen in any of the prior months, behind the all-time monthly high of 4.03 million tonnes seen in October last year. Moreover, on a trailing twelve month basis, this translates into total imports of 41.23 million tonnes - the highest level as compared to any trailing twelve month period ever.

This increase comes despite U.S. decision to impose anti-dumping duties on imports of steel pipes used by the energy industry from several Asian countries, including South Korea which was slapped with second highest tariffs. South Korea is fighting to get the duties removed by filing an appeal with the World Trade Organization, but it appears that the tariffs are not … read full article at Seeking Alpha