July Foreign Steel Imports Net 3.8 Million Tons, South Korea and Russia Jump the Most

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Steel imports into the US continued to grow in July, expanding by more than 6 percent from June and nearly 56 percent from a year earlier.

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July imports totaled 3.8 million net tons, 221,000 net tons more than in June. Imports from South Korea and Russia showed the greatest growth, with the former expanding 27.5 percent to 584,000 net tons and the latter 135 percent to 363,000 net tons.

Compared to July 2013, Korean imports were up 144 percent and Russian imports jumped 322 percent. Notwithstanding the overall increase, imports from several major U.S. trading partners were down in July: the European Union 1.3 percent to 634,000 net tons; Canada 2.6 percent to 527,000 net tons; Brazil 5.4 percent to 440,000 net tons, and Mexico 27.7 percent to 294,000 net tons.

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Chinese steel prices were flat for the day. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India hit a high price of CNY 840.00 ($136.48) and a low price of CNY 830.00 ($134.86) per dry metric ton. The price of Chinese HRC continues hovering around CNY 3,380 ($549.18) per metric ton for the fifth day in a row. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese coking coal held flat at CNY 1,390 ($225.85) per metric ton.

The cash price of steel billet continues hovering around $420.00 per metric ton on the LME for the fifth day in a row. The steel billet 3-month price was unchanged on the LME at $425.00 per metric ton.

The 3-month price of the US HRC futures contract remained essentially flat at $645.00 per short ton. The spot price of the US HRC futures contract held steady at $675.00 per short ton.

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