NEW YORK U.S. steel exports rose in July thanks to increased shipments of structural shapes, cut-to-length plate and plate in coil, with exports to Mexico showing a particularly large jump.
Exports totaled 986,392 tonnes, up 2.2 percent from 965,464 tonnes in June and 0.3 percent ahead of 983,734 tonnes in July last year, according to U.S. Commerce Department data.
Heavy structural shape shipments last month jumped 14.2 percent from June to 89,668 tonnes, cut-to-length plate climbed 11.4 percent to 92,517 tonnes and plate-in-coil exports increased 12.3 percent to 70,250 tonnes. Shipments of hot-rolled sheet dropped 20.2 percent to 82,077 tonnes in the same comparison, while bloom, billet and slab exports tumbled 37.6 percent to 14,774 tonnes.
Exports to Mexico totaled 353,143 tonnes in July, up 11.8 percent from the previous month.
"North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) steel demand improved in July compared to June by 6 percent, offsetting declines in other international markets. (This) increase reflects the timing of the stronger mid-summer market conditions experienced at that time. Whether increased pricing in many steel marketsespecially flat rolledhas staying power or is an inventory replenishment-driven cycle remains to be seen," David Phelps, president of the American Institute for International Steel, said in a statement.