Falls Church, VA. November 18, 2015. Exports fell 1.8 percent in September to 811,584 net tons. This total was 21.5 percent less than a year earlier.
Nearly half of all steel exports from the United States go to Canada, which has struggled economically this year, and the 393,326 net tons of exports to that nation in September were nearly 30 percent lower than the September 2014 total. Month to month, exports fell 3.2 percent. Exports to Mexico increased 4.1 percent from August to September, though the 330,025 net tons were still 6.5 percent below the previous September. Exports to the European Union, meanwhile, plummeted 26.3 percent in September to 24,247 net tons, but that was 2.8 percent higher than in September 2014.
Through the first nine months of the year, total steel exports were down 15.3 percent to 7.75 million net tons. Canada accounted for nearly all of the decrease in tonnage, as exports to that country through the first three-fourths of the year fell 23 percent to 3.77 million net tons. Exports to Mexico dipped 4.5 percent to 2.99 million net tons, while exports to the European Union were up 8 percent to 273,634 net tons.
Canada’s economy has shown some signs of life in recent months, posting monthly growth of 0.4 percent in June, 0.3 percent in July and 0.1 percent in August that followed several months of negative growth in the spring. Economists are expecting third quarter growth to come in at an annualized rate of 2.5 percent, which would be the country’s strongest economic performance in a year. But while Canada’s GDP numbers have at least returned to the black, long-term growth projections remain unimpressive, in part because of low energy prices. Steel exports may begin to inch back up as the United States’ largest trading partner gets healthier, but it will likely be a while before all of the lost ground is regained.
Richard Chriss, Esq.