The global steel industry
The steel industry is global in nature, and developments outside the United States can affect the US steel industry (XME). To be sure, the US steel industry has somewhat decoupled from the global steel industry this year after the imposition of Section 232 tariffs. Donald Trump has imposed a flat tariff of 25% on steel imports from some countries. For the countries that have been temporarily exempted from the stringent tariffs, the Trump administration is trying to negotiate quotas to keep US steel imports in check. The tariffs would be in addition to any trade remedies already in place.
US steel imports
US steel imports have surged over the last two months in the absence of quotas. Steel imports rose year-over-year and sequentially last month. For a detailed analysis of April’s steel import data, read Have President Trump’s Tariffs Failed US Steel Companies?
Meanwhile, despite US steel prices rising steeply, US steel stock prices have disappointed. AK Steel (AKS) has fallen 21.0% this year, while U.S. Steel Corporation (X) and Nucor (NUE) have been flat. Steel Dynamics (STLD) has outperformed the broader steel space, rising 15.1%.
US steel industry indicators look reasonably strong this month. In this series, we’ll check on global steel industry indicators, specifically China’s. Let’s begin by looking at April’s global steel production data.