Monday, October 5, 2009

Steel Imports Down By 76%

August Steel Imports plunge 76%

Yet another indication of just how dismal the economy is, was the recently announced non-existent demand for raw material imports, particularly steel, which saw was a mere 775k tons in August imports, a 66.5% decline from August of 2008, or a dollar value of $758 million down 76% from the $3.2 billion imported in August 2008. After a brief "second derivative" headfake in July numbers, the August results indicate that even as economists expect a massive pick up in inventories and what not, domestically America is using raw materials at a fraction of even 2008's run rate.

How this information will affect steel makers and service centers is as of yet unknown, although with destocking already having been occurring for many months, the complete lack of any tangible desire to restock is truly surprising.

This is particularly alarming since steel is a raw material used in much of our manufacturing (or what's left of it). One commenter on this article stated that "There is no other commodity as basic as steel when it comes to manufacturing. Non ferrous metals (copper, zinc, aluminum) are dependent on steel. As steel goes, so go the others."

This is very true.
And this could be yet another indicator of where things are headed.
Green Shoots?
I think not.
Especially as steel plants may be closing or cutting back their production, creating even more unemployment in places like Illinois and Oklahoma, and less production of manufactured goods.