JANUARY 2008

Finished steel imports remain high

Based on preliminary Census Bureau data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported that the United States imported a total of 2,700,000 net tons (NT) of steel in October 2007, including 1,913,000 NT of finished steel (up 13 percent and down 6 percent, respectively, vs. September final data).

While overall imports year-to-date (YTD) have declined vs. the all-time record year of 2006, total and finished steel imports YTD, on an annualized basis, remain up 8 percent and 10 percent, respectively, vs. 2005, which itself saw historically high import levels. On an annualized basis, total imports of steel in 2007 would be 34.6 million NT.

Among the finished steel products showing large increases in October 2007 vs. the prior month were: heavy structural shapes (up 43 percent), bars–cold finished (up 40 percent), cold rolled sheets (up 19 percent) and a variety of tubular products, including line pipe, standard pipe and structural pipe & tubing (up 19 percent, 16 percent and 12 percent, respectively).

In October, the three largest suppliers of finished steel from offshore were China (303,000 NT, down 9 percent vs. September), South Korea (161,000 NT, down 3 percent) and Japan (109,000 NT, up 15 percent).