NEW YORK U.S. steel
imports edged up 4.6 percent in January from the previous month
on the back of increased coated and energy goods, U.S. Census
Bureau data show.
Preliminary steel imports
totaled 2.34 million tonnes last month, up from Decembers
final figure of nearly 2.24 million tonnes but down 8.4 percent
from a year earlier.
Major increases in carbon and
alloy products included oil country tubular goods, which
rebounded 56.9 percent to 259,206 tonnes after plunging 32.9
percent in December, while hot-dipped galvanized sheet jumped
47 percent to an eight-month high of 178,349 tonnes.
Decreases were registered for
semifinished material, which plunged 29.9 percent in January to
420,955 tonnes, while imports of plate in coil fell 47.6
percent to 63,038 tonnes.
"Based on import licenses
through the first 26 days of February, we believe that February
imports are likely to decline modestly from January," Michelle
Applebaum, managing partner of Chicago-based Steel Market
Intelligence, said in a research note. "Given rising global
steel pricing trends and flat-to-down domestic long and
flat-product prices in recent months, we expect imports to
moderate through the next three months."