CHICAGO The U.S. trade
deficit for iron and steel mill products grew 11.5 percent
month on month in February to $657 million, as
exports slipped and imports rose 4.2 percent, according to
the latest Bureau of Economic Analysis data.
However, the iron and steel mill
products deficit for the first two months of the year fell more
than 20 percent to $1.25 billion.
While copper trade moved to a
$179-million surplus from a $153-million deficit in January,
the red metals surplus for the first two months of the
year fell 94.7 percent to $26 million.
U.S. exports of aluminum and
alumina increased 10.6 percent in February vs. January, but
fell 0.5 percent for the first two months of the year. U.S.
imports of bauxite and aluminum fell 4.3 percent month on month
(to $885 million) and 6.1 percent year on year (to $1.81
In other metals, tin imports
fell 5.2 percent in February, while zinc and nickel imports
rose 9.1 percent and 13.9 percent, respectively. Metallurgical
coal exports fell 10.5 percent to $634 million.
All U.S. exports totaled $186
billion in February while imports equaled $228.9 billion,
resulting in a goods and services deficit that fell 3.4 percent
month on month to $43 billion. The trade deficit with China
fell 15.8 percent to $23.4 billion, while the deficit with
Europe rose 2.3 percent and that with Japan fell 3.3
"Exports were boosted in large
part by unusual suspects: fuel oil and petroleum products, both
of which we will grow accustomed to seeing at the top of the
list as net oil imports continue to decline. Automotive goods
provided the rest of the export gains," Gregory Daco, senior
principal economist for Lexington, Mass.-based IHS Global
Insight Inc., said. "This report will likely provide a small
upward nudge to an already high first-quarter real (gross
domestic product) growth estimate."