US steel imports
Rising steel imports have been a prime challenge for US steel companies including United States Steel Corporation (X), AK Steel Holding Corporation (AKS), TimkenSteel (TMST), and Nucor Corporation (NUE). However, there’s been some good news on the steel imports front over the last couple of months.
US steel imports have fallen
US steel imports have been tapering down for the last few months, as can be seen in the graph above. US (VTI) steel imports have fallen on a YoY (year-over-year) basis for eight consecutive months. In November 2015, the United States imported 2.1 million metric tons of steel products—a YoY decline of 36%. What’s more, in November, US steel imports fell to a four-year low. This is an encouraging development for the domestic steel industry. Moreover, there were big declines in imports across major product categories in November. You can read November Steel Imports: Fall in Major Product Categories to explore the breakdown of November steel imports.
Will the good news continue?
Although the United States has imposed preliminary anti-dumping duties in excess of 250% on imports of corrosion-resistant steel imports from China, other countries face much lower duties. According to the Department of Commerce’s, imports of corrosion-resistant steel products from Korea face anti-dumping duties of just over 3%, whereas Indian steel companies have been slapped with anti-dumping duties of ~7%. Italian steel companies were also let off with much lower anti-dumping duties in the range of 0%-3.1%.
Lower duties on countries other than China are negative for the US steel industry. It’s important to note that China is not the largest steel exporter to the United States. Korea, Japan, and the United Kingdom are among the top steel exporters to the United States.
There are several key trade cases coming up for hearing in 2016. We’ll discuss these in the next part of this series.