Steel imports continue at unrivaled levels
Washington, DC— Based on preliminary Census Bureau data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported that the United States imported a total of 3,823,000 net tons (NT) of steel in October 2006, including 3,082,000 NT of finished steel (down 2.0 and 0.9 percent, respectively, vs. September’s final data). Year-to-date (YTD) imports in these categories are now up 45 and 46 percent, respectively, compared to the same period in 2005. On an annualized basis, total and finished steel imports (at 46.5 and 36.8 million NT, respectively) would set all-time records– easily surpassing the previous record of 41.5 million NT and 34.7 million NT set in 1998.
Key products with large increases in October compared to the month before include steel piling (407 percent), tin free steel (up 39 percent), tin plate (up 34 percent), line pipe (up 29 percent), plates in coils (up 27 percent), oil country goods (up 18 percent) and sheets & strips all other metallic (up 13 percent).
YTD imports from Russia are up 106 percent vs. last year. In October, for the fourth month in a row, China, a non-market economy, was the single largest source of steel imports to the United States (596,000 NT). Imports from China were 338 percent higher in October 2006 than in the same month last year and at their present pace, will exceed 5 million tons this year.