CHICAGO The gap between iron and steel mill product
imports and exports fell 12 percent in January vs. December as
imports exceeded exports by just $574 million, according to
U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis data.
But after two years of monthly
trade surpluses, copper recorded a $153-million deficit in
January, with imports rising 34.6 percent and exports falling
8.3 percent from the previous month.
Imports of bauxite and aluminum
fell 6.4 percent in January from the previous month after
rising 16.8 percent in December. Alumina and aluminum exports
fell 6 percent in January after rising 2.1 percent the previous
Nickel imports increased 6.6
percent to $210 million in January vs. December and tin imports
were 14.3 percent higher at $96 million, but zinc imports fell
11 percent to $121 million, according to the data.
Metallurgical coal exports
valued at $708 million in January were down 6.6 percent from
the previous month and 36.5 percent lower than in January last
year. Exports of metalliferous ores and metal scrap, valued at
$2.03 billion in January, fell 8.6 percent from December.
U.S. exports of goods and
services totaled $184.45 billion in January and imports reached
$228.9 billion, resulting in a trade deficit of $44.49 billion,
a jump of 16.5 percent from $38.14 billion in December.
The larger oil import bill
accounted for more than 90 percent of the increase in imports,
said Gregory Daco, senior principal economist at IHS Global
Insight, Lexington, Mass. After two consecutive months of
gains, exports cooled in January mainly due to a 6-percent
decline in industrial supplies.
The U.S. trade deficit with
China increased 13.5 percent to $27.8 billion.
Despite the "boosterism" for
exports, "remember that net exports matter more and are a part
of (gross domestic product). Were headed in the wrong
direction," Alliance for American Manufacturing president Scott
Paul said. "The rising trade deficit with China is not a good
sign for reshoring of manufacturing jobs."