The U.S. economy has consistently produced strong economic data for the past few months. The automobile industry has continued to produce record numbers while the nascent recovery in residential housing has been gaining momentum. The risks to U.S. economic growth stem from the 2% tax increase, cuts in government spending and weakening global growth. Weakness in the Euro-zone and UK resurfaced and disappointing economic and manufacturing data internationally have emerged. A strong rally in the dollar and weaker than expected Chinese demand for commodities has begun to add additional pressure on metal prices. Most importantly, the Chinese government has announced and is implementing additional restrictions to fight a well-documented property bubble in China. Chinese steel inventories, especially rebar, are at record high levels. While seasonally consistent, if these high levels of inventory are met with a sharp decrease in construction demand, excess steel inventory could pressure global steel prices and raw materials. Weak demand, excess global inventory and a strong dollar have already begun to create positive import differentials for U.S. buyers.