NEW YORK U.S. steel exports rose in May on increased shipments to North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) partners, according to the American Institute for International Steel (AIIS).
"Exports of American-made steel increased in May primarily due to improved shipments to our Nafta partners and other countries in the Western Hemisphere," AIIS president David Phelps said in a statement.
Steel exports totaled 1.16 million tons in May, up 11.6 percent from 1.04 million tons the previous month but down 7.9 percent from 1.26 million tons in May 2012. Year-to-date exports of 5.42 million tons were down 11.3 percent from 6.11 million tons in the first five months of last year.
Exports to Canada totaled 590,236 tons in May, up 10.6 percent from 533,881 tons in April, and shipments to Mexico inched up 0.7 percent to 343,467 tons from 340,993 tons, but exports to the European Union fell 28.5 percent to 33,880 tons from 47,391 tons.
"While the increase in May is encouraging, economic conditions in many international markets are in turmoil, especially Asia and the E.U., making it difficult to conclude that the May data are the beginning of a positive trend at this point," Phelps said.