NEW YORK U.S. exports of steel mill products climbed 3.8 percent in April compared with the previous month, marking a six-month high, according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau data.
Exports were also 3.7 percent higher year on year.
The increase was partially driven by a jump in shipments of blooms, billets and slabs to the Dominican Republic, which climbed to 15,742 tonnes in April from just 16.1 tonnes in March. Shipments of all products to the Caribbean nation jumped to 21,953 tonnes from 1,682 tonnes a month earlier.
Cut-to-length plate exports rose 11.6 percent month on month and 25 percent year on year, while those of oil country tubular goods exports fell 3.4 percent from March levels but rose 38.3 percent from April 2013.
On a year-to-date basis, a separate analysis of export data by the American Institute for International Steel (AIIS) shows exports fell 6.3 percent from the first four months of last year.
Harsh winter weather slowed trade in January and February, the AIIS said June 10. "Exports to Mexico are about even for the year, while Canada is down 3.3 percent. Nearly all other countries have brought in less steel from the U.S. this year, with China, Venezuela and Brazil among a handful of exceptions," the trade group said.