NEW YORK Steel arriving
at U.S. ports appear poised to end a four-month slide in
September on the back of increases in hot-rolled sheet, plate
in coil and semifinished product.
September import license
applications tallied 2.31 million tonnes, up 3 percent from
August preliminary figures of 2.25 million tonnes, according to
data released Tuesday by the Commerce Departments Import
"The tide-bucking flat-rolled
jump may have been in part based on labor worries that started
in June, or may have been driven off of rising price premiums
in July," Michelle Applebaum, managing partner of Chicago-based
Steel Market Intelligence, wrote in a research note. "Either
way, the jump compares to monthly average sheet imports of
630,000 in (the first quarter) and 747,000 in (the second
quarter), so were not back to the peaks of a few months
Flat-rolled steel traders have
recently said that the market remains limp on account of
oversupply and sliding domestic prices.
Major gains in the carbon and
alloy group were seen in hot-rolled sheet, which jumped 28.3
percent to 202,208 tonnes led by shipments from South Korea and
Japan. However, sheet from Russia fell to zero tonnes as the
countrys negotiations with the United States concerning
their suspension agreement continue.
Other gains were seen in plate
in coil, which jumped 33.4 percent to 103,098 tonnes, as India
accounted for 20,255 tonnes after posting zero in August.
Notable decreases were
registered in cut-to-length plate, which plunged 29.5 percent
to 92,098 tonnes on significant drops from Brazil, Turkey and
Romania. Imports of line pipe also dropped to 135,630 tonnes,
down from Augusts 154,275 tonnes.
Stainless import licenses fell 19.8 percent to 82,359 tonnes
in September, set to be the lowest figure since December