This Morning in Metals: U.S. Steel Imports Fell 11.5% in 2018

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This morning in metals, U.S. imports of steel dropped 12% year over year last year, Chile’s copper and lithium export revenue fell in February and markets react to uncertainty over the ongoing U.S.-China trade talks.

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Imports of Steel Drop 11.5%

U.S. steel imports fell 11.5% in 2018 compared with the previous year, according to an American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) report citing U.S. Census Bureau data.

Total steel imports hit 33.7 million net tons in 2018, according to the report. Finished steel import market share for 2018 hit 23%, according to the report, and was 19% in December.

Chile’s Copper, Lithium Export Value Drops

Revenue stemming from Chile’s copper and lithium exports in February fell compared with the same month the previous year, according to a Reuters report.

Chile’s copper export revenue in February fell 19% year over year, according to the report, while lithium export revenue dropped from $76 million in February 2018 to $60 million last month.

Asian Markets Down on Trade Uncertainty

A recent uptick in optimism surrounding U.S.-China trade talks appears to have taken a hit — if Asian markets are any indication.

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According to MarketWatch, Asian markets were down Thursday. Japan’s Nikkei 225, South Korea’s Kospi and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng all slipped on Thursday, according to the report.

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