CHICAGO The U.S. trade
deficit for iron and steel mill products fell 15.2 percent
month on month to $608 million in October on a $27-million
rise in exports and an $82-million drop in imports.
The decline nearly reversed a
16.3-percent increase in the deficit during September compared
with August (amm.com, Nov. 12).
Year to date, the trade deficit
for iron and steel mill products has risen 13.5 percent to
$7.21 billion, Bureau of Economic Analysis data show.
Copper posted a trade surplus of
$142 million in October, down 41.8 percent from
Septembers surplus of $244 million. The United States
posted a copper trading surplus of well above $2.64 billion
through the first 10 months of 2012, more than doubling from
the $955-million surplus recorded during the same 2011
Imports of bauxite and aluminum
increased 4.2 percent to $822 million in October, while exports
of aluminum and alumina fell 4.3 percent.
Imports of tin jumped 50 percent
month on month in October, while nickel imports dropped 22
percent and zinc imports rose 8.3 percent. Year to date,
imports of all three alloys fell between 18 and 21 percent.
Total U.S. exports of $180.5
billion were offset by imports of $222.8 billion in October,
resulting in a goods-and-services deficit that rose 4.7 percent
month on month. There was a $29.47-billion trade deficit with
China, up 1.4 percent from September, and a 22.5-percent jump
in the nations trade deficit with the European Union,
which was calculated at $10.6 billion.
Although potential disruptions
from Hurricane Sandy in late October werent noted in the
report, "our view is that Sandy most likely had some impact on
trade volumes in the last three days of October," Nigel Gault,
chief U.S. economist at Lexington, Mass.-based consultancy IHS
Global Insight Inc., said Tuesday.
Excluding potential weather
disruptions, "it is clear that the global appetite for U.S.
goods and services has decreased," he said, adding that the
decline in capital goods exports reflected "a sharp drop in the
volatile civilian aircraft category," while exports of
automotive vehicles, parts and engines slipped 3.1 percent.