NEW YORK Steel
reinforcing bar (rebar) imports look set to rebound in March
after logging a sharp drop-off in February, according to
preliminary data released by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Just 74,584 tonnes of rebar hit
U.S. shores in February, according to preliminary data released
this week, representing a 30-percent decline compared with
January imports and a 33.9-percent slide compared with the
112,908 tonnes imported in February 2012.
"Domestics (activity) was
a lot lower this year than last year," a Midwest rebar
distributor said of the February market.
License data indicate that
90,482 tons of rebar were approved to arrive in the United
States in February, but nearly 17,000 tons of Turkish product
never reached shore, likely due to a shipment delay, sources
But that pullback in imports
could turn around this month, with 104,027 tonnes of metal
already licensed to arrive through March 26, according to data
released this week. If that full volume comes in, imports will
mark a new two-month high; if slightly more arrives, it will
mark a 12-month record.
And sources said more rebar
imports are on track to arrive stateside in the next couple of
"Weve got a boatload of
imports hitting the shores in a month and a half, so
thats also a variable in the equation," a domestic rebar
fabricator said of April arrivals.