Steel imports in March were 2.475 million tons, dropping 1.3 percent from 2.508 million tons in February and plummeting 19.3 percent from March 2012, according to preliminary government reporting, the American Institute for International Steel reports.
“After months of declines in arrivals in response to weak economic conditions and steel demand, the only good news in the latest report is that the decline is noticeably smaller, and imports from our NAFTA partners showed an increased, hopefully portending better news going forward,” said David Phelps, president of AIIS, in a written statement. “The long-awaited spring rebound in construction may be evidenced in the increase in imports of rebar.”
For the first quarter of 2013, steel imports declined by 11.7 percent to 7.600 million tons compared with the first quarter of 2012, driven by the impact of the “dramatic level of tax and public policy uncertainty” on the U.S. economy and steel market, Phelps noted.
“We remain optimistic about the market strengthening as we move through the second quarter,” he added.