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Steel watching for import resurgence.

Steel watching for import resurgence

Despite an overall reduction in steel imports in first half 1989, domestic steel is watching the month-to-month figures closely for signs of a resurgence in imports, Frank W Luerssen, chairman of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) says. Luerssen, who is chairman of Inland Steel Industries Inc, notes that imports increased in April, May, and June.

"Recent increases coincide with reports of a weakening in demand in the world market," Luerssen observes. "Historically, weaker world markets have induced exporting countries to dump more steel in the United States; and there is reason to expect that this will be a persistent problem."

US imports of steel mill products totaled 8,699,000 net tons in the first half of this year, compared with 11,027,000 tons in the same 1988 period, according to the AISI's compilation of Commerce Department figures. Despite that general trend, a breakdown shows that seven major countries shipped more steel to the US during the first half of 1989.

The United Kingdom shipped 446,000 tons versus 412,000 tons in the 1988 period. Numbers for the others are Luxembourg 117,000 tons versus 114,000 tons; Spain 256,000 tons versus 235,000 tons; Finland 120,000 tons versus 94,000 tons; Australia 159,000 tons versus 124,000 tons; India 59,000 tons versus 57,000 tons; and New Zealand 47,000 tons versus 29,000 tons.

There were decreases in imports from several major supplying countries including Japan, Canada, South Korea, Mexico, Venezuela, Argentina, Sweden, Norway, Turkey, Thailand, Indonesia, and Taiwan. The EEC as a group was down from 3,029,000 tons in the 1988 period to 2,627,000 tons in the 1989 period. Brazil was unchanged at 750,000 tons in both periods.
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Title Annotation:American Iron and Steel Institute analysis
Publication:Tooling & Production
Date:Oct 1, 1989
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