U.S. steel exports declined 9.3 percent in April from March and 8.8 percent year-to-year, the Commerce Department said.
“Softening shipments to the NAFTA region led the decline in April, although there was some good news as non-NAFTA Western Hemisphere shipments rose, mostly due to a jump in semifinished exports to the Dominican Republic over March,” said David Phelps, president of the American Institute for International Steel.
Steel exports in April totaled 1.026 million tons, compared to 1.132 million tons in March 2011. Exports through the first four months of 2011 totaled 4.12 million tons, a 1.2 percent increase from the corresponding period in 2010.
Although exports to the NAFTA region declined in the first four months of 2011 compared to 2010, the decline was offset by an increase in exports to Asia, including a solid increase in exports to China and Taiwan. “Strong economic growth in Asia is a bright spot for the steel market internationally,” Phelps said.