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Steel Producers: Something's Gotta Give

As per the latest preliminary data, the steel imports into the U.S. have climbed to 3.93 million tonnes in January, showing an increase of 19.7% from the previous month and 35.1% from the same month last year. South Korea played a key role in driving higher steel shipments, thanks to the 73% and 53% increases in imports on a month-over-month and year-over-year basis of seamless rolled steel products, such as oil drilling pipes.

What is particularly striking about the steel import numbers is that it shows an all-time record for the month of January, beating the previous January high of 3.18 million tonnes back in 2006, as per a recent report from Axiom Capital's Gordon Johnson emailed to me. The January imports were also the second-highest the U.S. has ever seen in any of the prior months, behind the all-time monthly high of 4.03 million tonnes seen in October… Read More …