U.S. steel imports fell in March

The flow of foreign steel into the United States slowed in March as the market inched closer to balancing supply and demand, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.

“The good news for the steel market in 2005 is that the long period of inventory adjustment appears to be coming to and end, as some analysts report that shipments and imports have been below actual consumption for some time,” David Phelps, president of the American Institute for International Steel, Inc. said.

In March, the United States imported 2.52 million tons of steel, down 6.3% from 2.69 million tons in February and down 3.7% from March 2004.

“Current import market conditions suggest that imports will continue to moderate in coming months as a result of international prices flattening, reducing opportunities for trade especially in commodity grade products,” Phelps said.

Canada, at 487,000 tons, led the list of countries sending steel last month into the U.S. market, followed by Mexico at 386,000 tons. Russia showed the biggest increase in shipments, up 112% from a month ago at 268,000 tons.

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