October steel imports decline 2 percent from September
Based on preliminary Census Bureau data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported that the U.S. imported a total of 2,540,000 net tons (NT) of steel in October, including 2,059,000 NT of finished steel (down 2 percent and up 3 percent, respectively, from September final data). Year-to-date (YTD) finished steel imports are up 18 percent vs. the same period in 2011. Finished steel import market share in October was an estimated 25 percent and is estimated at 24 percent YTD.
Key finished steel products with a significant import increase in October 2012 compared to September are heavy structural shapes (up 56 percent), tin plate (up 40 percent), line pipe (up 39 percent), reinforcing bars (up 27 percent), hot rolled bars (up 16 percent) and sheets and strip galvanized hot dipped (up 12 percent). Major products with significant YTD import increases vs. the same period last year include reinforcing bar (up 50 percent), line pipe (up 39 percent), sheets & strip galvanized hot dipped (up 36 percent) and oil country goods (up 29 percent).
In October, the largest volumes of finished steel imports from offshore were all from Asia and Europe. They were South Korea (372,000 NT, up 16 percent), Japan (179,000 NT, up 8 percent), China (117,000 NT, up 14 percent), Germany (103,000 NT, down 8 percent) and The Netherlands (71,000 NT, up 85 percent). For the first 10 months of 2012, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (3,181,000 NT, up 30 percent), Japan (1,697,000 NT, up 38 percent), China (1,309,000 NT, up 23 percent), Turkey (1,185,000 NT, up 89 percent) and Germany (1,035,000 NT, up 29 percent).