CHICAGO The U.S. trade deficit for iron and steel mill
products grew 16.3 percent month on month to $719 million in
September as a $63-million drop in exports more than
counteracted a $38-million increase in imports.
However, the year on year iron
and steel mill product trade deficit for the third quarter rose
just 4.3 percent to $79 million, U.S. Bureau of Economic
Analysis data show.
Copper posted a trade surplus of
$244 million in September, up 10.4 percent from Augusts
surplus of $221 million. The U.S. had a third-quarter copper
trading surplus of $600 million, jumping 65.7 percent from the
$362-million surplus seen during the same period in 2011.
Imports of bauxite and aluminum
fell 7.5 percent to $786 million in September, following a
4.5-percent dip between July and August. September exports of
aluminum and alumina fell 1.1 percent month on month.
Imports of nickel fell 4 percent
in September vs. August, while zinc imports moved up 0.8
percent and tin imports fell 24.5 percent in the same
Total U.S. exports of $187
billion were offset by imports of $228.5 billion in September,
resulting in a goods and services deficit of $41.5 billion,
down 5.3 percent from $43.8 billion in August. The
nations trade deficit with China grew 1.4 percent month
Nigel Gault, chief U.S.
economist at Lexington, Mass.-based consultancy IHS Global
Insight Inc., said this was the smallest deficit since December
2010 and that the bulk of the deficit improvement came from
petroleum, reflecting rising exports.
"Total export volumes were still
lower in the third quarter than the second, so even though
Septembers improvement is welcome, it would be premature
to talk of an export revival," Gault said.
Government data should soon show
"whether the smaller trade gap and higher manufacturing
inventory accumulation will be offset by slower wholesale and
retail inventory accumulation," he added.