Steel imports decline 14 percent

Based on preliminary Census Bureau data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported that the United States imported a total of 1,791,000 net tons (NT) of steel in October, including 1,489,000 NT of finished steel (down 14 percent and 6 percent, respectively, from September final data).

Since a year-high finished steel import share of 24 percent in July, import share has averaged around 20 percent over the past three months and was an estimated 19 percent in October, vs. a low of 15 percent in August 2009. For the year-to-date, finished steel import market share is 21 percent. In the first 10 months of 2010, total and finished steel imports are up 50 percent and 31 percent, respectively, compared to the same period last year.

US Steel Imports

Key finished steel products with significant import increases in October 2010 compared to September include heavy structural shapes (up 57 percent), standard pipe (up 35 percent), hot dipped galvanized sheet and strip (up 21 percent) and wire drawn (up 16 percent). Many finished steel products have registered large year-to-date import increases in 2010 vs. the same period last year, including wire rods (up 91 percent) and hot rolled sheets (up 42 percent).

In October, the largest volumes of finished steel imports from offshore were from South Korea (183,000, down 12 percent), Japan (104,000 NT, down 8 percent), Germany (79,000 up 36 percent), India (70,000 NT, up 255 percent) and China (52,000, down 48 percent).