Steel exports fell by nearly one-tenth from March to April, though they remained above the April 2016 level, according to a report released on June 16 by the American Institute for International Steel.
The 9.6% monthly decline left exports at 857,582 net tons, 7.9% more than a year earlier.
Looking at exports to specific regions:
- Exports to Mexico decreased 10.3% to 333,923 net tons, which was 9.5% more than in the previous April.
- Exports to Canada slipped 2.8% to 434,364 net tons, almost 6% more than in the same month last year.
- Exports to the European Union plummeted more than 37% to 25,929 net tons. This, though, was still almost 3.9% more than in April 2016.
Despite the dip coming out of the first quarter, exports through the first four months of the year were up 10.3% compared to 2016 at 3.45 million net tons.
Comparing these numbers to last year at the time, exports to Mexico increased 16.2% to 1.38 million net tons, and exports to Canada from January to April grew by 5.5% to 1.68 million net tons. Exports to the European Union have spiked more than 54% so far this year to 116,461 net tons.
U.S. steel exports are small as compared to imports. According to the American Iron and Steel Institute, the United States imported nearly 3.6 million tons of steel in May alone, which is more than the United States exported in the first four months of the year, as reported by The Times of Northwest Indiana
The group addressed the issue of the Department of Commerce’s Section 232 investigation of steel imports. “American officials who are considering imposing restrictions on those imports should remember that Newton’s Third Law can apply to trade, as well as physics: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction,” the statement said.
“Protectionist policies will almost certainly lead to retaliatory measures, which will mean significant declines in exports of steel, and most likely other goods, as well. Maintaining a free and responsible trading regime is in the long-term best interests of both importers and domestic manufacturers.”