Pipe and tube imports tail off as trade case chatter ramps up in volume

Dec 03, 2010 | 06:17 AM |

Imports of most pipe and tube products to the United States tailed off in November as distributors seek to slash inventories to avoid year-end taxes and questions about demand continue to linger over many sectors of the market.

Perspectives would venture to guess that talk of dumping cases (see articles on pages 1 and 4) isn't helping matters either.

"I'd like to see the rumors become real or go away," one trader sighed.

Rumors about a trade petition against oil country tubular goods (OCTG) imports from South Korea have persisted in the market for at least two years. More recently, talk of a trade case against stainless imports from China and South Korea has been added to the mix.

Traders also griped about a lackluster spot market as distributors remain hesitant to stock up. That's especially true in cases where domestic material is competitive with import.....

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