Major steel exporters to the United States
So far, we’ve seen steel imports by product types. Now let’s look at countries that are exporting the most steel to the United States. Please be aware that the United States is the largest importer of steel. These imports are the single biggest risk for steel plays such as ArcelorMittal (MT), U.S. Steel Corporation (X), AK Steel (AKS), and Nucor (NUE). These companies form the investment universe for the SPDR S&P Metals and Mining ETF (XME).
No, it’s not China
China is the whipping post when it comes to US steel imports. However, China accounts for only a little more than 7% of US steel imports. Most US steel imports come from Europe, which accounts for about a third of the total US steel imports. You can see this in the above chart.
Germany, the United Kingdom, and Russia are some of the big steel exporters from Europe. Steel production has slowed down in recent months in Europe.
China and Japan
China and Japan are also among the major steel exporters to the United States. Each of them has ~7% share in US steel imports. Turkey also accounts for almost 5% of steel imports in the United States. Korea is the second biggest steel exporter to the United States.
Almost 12% of steel imports in the United States comes from Korea. The United States signed a free trade agreement with Korea a couple of years back.
More than a fifth of US steel imports come from North America. Canada is the single biggest steel exporter to the United States. Steel imports from Canada constitute almost 13% of total US steel imports.
Imports from some countries have risen sharply this year. We’ll look at this in our next part.