LME Begins Moving its Ring; Steel Imports Into the US Hit 29% in 2015

The London Metal Exchange‘s “ring” is being moved and steel imports into the US hit 29% of the market in 2015.

LME Moves its Ring

The 139-year-old London Metal Exchange (LME) wrapped up open outcry trading on Wednesday at its red leather couch “ring” before moving the trading floor to a new home, Finsbury Square, in London’s financial district.

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The LME, the world’s biggest market for base metals such as copper and aluminum, is the only financial exchange to maintain open outcry trading in Europe. While the ring is being moved to the new location today and tomorrow, trading will take place at the LME’s disaster recovery site in Chelmsford, east of London.

Steel Imports Into the US Hit 29% in 2015

Based on preliminary Census Bureau data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported  that the US imported a total of 2,323,000 net tons (NT) of steel in December 2015, including 2,017,000 NT of finished steel (down 5.3% and up 3.2%, respectively, vs. November final data). Full Year 2015 total and finished steel imports were 38,718,000 and 31,425,000 NT, respectively, down 13% and 7%, respectively, vs. 2014. Finished steel import market share was an estimated 26% in December and is estimated at 29% for the full year.

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Key finished steel products with a significant import increase in December compared to November were wire rods (up 77%), tin plate (up 71%), cut lengths plates (up 65%), heavy structural shapes (up 46%), hot rolled bars (up 20%) and cold rolled sheets (19%). Major products with significant import increases in 2015 vs. the prior year include reinforcing bar (up 38%) and standard pipe (up 13%).

The rolling average of steel imports into the US in 2015 vs. 2014. Source: AISI

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