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11/2/2018 6:24:00 PM
U.S. steel prices have risen 11 percent since tariffs imposed

Joseph S. Pete, Times of Northwest Indiana

The Section 232 tariffs imposed earlier this year have helped boost steel prices, restoring steelmakers to profitability and even prompting U.S. Steel to start hiring again.

Business Forward found in its latest American Steel Index that U.S. steel prices have risen 11 percent since February, the last month before the administration imposed the across-the-board tariffs of 25 percent on most foreign-made steel. The price of hot-rolled steel has increased by 13.5 percent, while cold-rolled steel prices have risen by 8.9 percent. 

Domestic buyers of steel such as automakers and appliance manufacturers are paying roughly 1.8 percent more on average for hot-rolled and cold-rolled steel. 

As a result of the tariffs, which make foreign steel costlier to buy, the market share of imports has fallen to 24 percent this year, dropping to as little as 20 percent in September, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute

Imports hit a record high of 29 percent market share during the depth of the steel crisis in 2015, when tens of thousands of steelworkers were laid off and mills were idled across the country.

But now prices are up and so is volume, with U.S. production up by 5 percent so far this year, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute.

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