Steel imports at lull, haze to last well past 1st qtr.

Dec 18, 2008 | 10:46 AM | Scott Robertson

The holiday season might not officially begin until next week, but most in the steel trading community say they feel like they've started their holiday breaks early.

"There is no business out there at all," one trader at the Port of Houston said. "You know you're in trouble when prices have come down as low as they have and there still isn't anybody out there to buy. I'd say it's just the typical seasonal slowdown, but it's been like this for a few months now. It's like we've been on vacation since August."

Most traders have had little choice but to sit on their hands during the last several months as steel buying has ground to a halt. The majority of customers are continuing to work off high-priced inventory levels, and with the world in the middle of a global credit crunch there are few reasons to order steel since most end-users are refraining from buying.....

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