“[North American Free Trade Agreement] steel demand improved in July compared to June by 6 percent, offsetting declines in other smaller international markets,” said David Phelps, president of the American Institute for International Steel, in a written statement. “NAFTA market’s increase reflects the timing of the stronger mid-summer market conditions experienced at that time. Whether increased pricing in many steel markets — especially flat rolled — has staying power or is an inventory replenishment driven cycle remains to be seen.”
In the first seven months of 2013, exports were down 9.5 percent, dropping from 8.362 million tons in 2012 to 7.569 million tons in 2013.
“Steel exports in July were 0.3 percent higher than in July 2012, but remained below 2012 for the year to date period, as overall steel demand continues to be weaker in all international markets in 2013,” Phelps explained. “While the slight improvement in July 2013 compared to 2012 is positive, the level of exports for the month remains below healthy levels unfortunately.”