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September U.S. steel imports from China increased significantly

U.S. Commerce Department released data
show, September 2013 U.S. imports 2.505 million tons of steel, month to month
dropped by 4.1%, compared to last year growth of 6.1%. 1-9 months total steel
imports 21,674,000 tons, year on year drop 7%.

From species to see, compared with last
year, the growth rate of rebar is biggest, reached 155 percent, hot rolled growth
of 24.4%, galvanized sheet increased by 11.9%, but the steel pipe, wire and
plate has a larger decline. Compared with August, there are larger increase in
rebar and plate, steel pipe, wire rod and cold volumes has larger decline. From
import source countries and regions to see, compared to last year, there are
larger imports growth from Central and South America, Japan, China and Turkey, and
imports from the CIS and EU decreased significantly. Compared with last month, imported
from Japan, China and Turkey imports increased significantly, from North
America, South America, South Korea and the CIS decreased greatly. September
U.S. imports 176,500 tons of steel from China, month to month growth of 76.88%,
compared to last year increased by 89.4%.

The latest statistics show that until to
October 25, 2013, October U.S. steel import license number is 127 million tons,
which much lower than the same period value in September, U.S. steel imports is
expected to significantly decrease in October.

Japan’s crude steel output of this year hit a five
years record high

According to the latest forecast of the
Japanese Ministry of Economy, Japan’s crude steel output of this year is
expected to increase to 111 million tons, compared to last year growth of 3.1%,
and hit a five-year record high. The main reason is government to increase
infrastructure spending and housing construction.

Recently, the Japanese Prime Minister
expressed, April of next year the consumption tax from the current 5% is raised
to 8%. At the same time, increasing infrastructure spending to stimulate the
central bank to take more forceful measures to end deflation. Since taking
office last December, Japanese Prime Minister funding at least 10 trillion yen for
infrastructure upgrades. In addition, the Japanese construction continues to increase,
including the Northeast reconstruction projects after the earthquake in March
2011.

Benefited from strong demand for steel and
depreciation of the yen, Japanese steel share price and profit rose, including
Japan’s largest steel producer NSSC Company and JFE Steel Corporation. Since
the end of last year, the Japanese yen against the U.S. dollar fell by about
20%. Depreciation of the yen not only prevented imported resources from Korea
and China etc. Asian countries, while helping Japanese manufacturing regain
competitiveness in export markets, causing domestic steel manufacturers work
hard to increase production.

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