Steel imports into the USA declined in October by 2.5% compared to September according to preliminary government data.

Total imports from NAFTA partners dropped even more significantly than the total, Canada by 4.1% and Mexico by 10.0%. AIIS believe this reflects consumers liquidating inventories in late Q2 and early Q4 in yet another inventory driven downward cycle during that time frame for domestic and import ordering, commented David Phelps, president, AIIS.

Total imports increased in the year-to November compared to 2011 by 16%. Demand for steel was higher in 2012 than in 2011, as most end use markets are healthier in 2012 than 2011. There is, however, considerable concern at this point about a double dip recession stemming from the ‘fiscal cliff’ in January 2013 even while another inventory-driven up cycle appears to be gaining momentum for early 2013. “The good news at this time is that some market indicators suggest that the construction market is beginning to show some life,” concluded Phelps.

Total Steel imports in October 2012 were 2.539M stons compared to 2.603M stons in September 2012, a 2.5% decrease, but an 8.5% increase compared to October 2011. For the first 10 months 2012, total imports increased to 28.225Mstons from 24.331Mstons in the same period 2011, a 16% increase. The data show that imported semi finished products increased by 8.8% in October 2012 compared to October 2011, from 442kstons in 2011 to 481kstons in 2012 and for the year to date period increased from 5.724Mstons to 6.288Mstons.