Weak flat-rolled market slows imports

Sep 27, 2012 | 02:49 PM | Catherine Ngai

Tags  traders, imports, AISI, David Phelps, flat-rolled, plate, catherine ngai

NEW YORK — U.S. demand for foreign steel has been dragging its feet as the expected pickup in buying after the summer slowdown has not returned, traders said.

Citing oversupply, slumping prices in the domestic flat-rolled sector and macroeconomic concerns, market players said purchases are being made only on an as-needed basis.

"Business is difficult again. Prices domestically are falling and customers are worried about where the market is going," one trader said. "Everyone is back to work (after the summer) and they should be buying before the holidays. But there’s just too much inventory, and the buying doesn’t seem to be happening."

Some 2.25 million tonnes of steel arrived at U.S. ports in August, according to preliminary figures from the U.S. Census Bureau (amm.com, Sept. 26), the lowest monthly volume since last December. ....

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