This morning in metals news: the U.S. international trade deficit in goods increased in December compared with the previous month; U.S. steel prices have continued to increase; and imports of reinforcing bars from Turkey and Algeria skyrocketed in late 2019, according to Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) data.
U.S. international trade in goods deficit rises in December
U.S. international trade in goods came in at a deficit of $68.3 billion in December, up 8.5% from November, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
Exports reached a value of $137.0 billion (up $0.4 billion from November) while imports were valued at $205.3 billion (up $5.8 billion from November).
U.S. steel prices continue to rise in early 2020
U.S. steel prices have continued to rise during the first month of 2020 after having reached an apparent bottom from approximately mid-October to mid-November.
The U.S. CRC price rose 3.01% over the last month, while U.S. HRC was up 3.16%, according to MetalMiner IndX data. U.S. HDG increased 2.64%.
Rebar imports from Turkey, Algeria surge
According to SIMA analysis, imports of reinforcing bars from Turkey and Algeria surged in a major way late last year.
From September to November, average monthly imports of steel rebar from Turkey reached 17,72o tons, which marked a 490% increase from the average monthly total for December 2018-August 2019.
Meanwhile, rebar imports from Algeria reached an average of 12,283 tons per month for September 2019 to August 2019, up 198% from the average monthly total for December 2018-August 2019.