China remains main offshore supplier of finished steel

Based on preliminary Census Bureau data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported that the United States imported a total of 2,280,000 net tons (NT) of steel in November 2007, including 1,922,000 NT of finished steel (down 18 percent and down 1 percent, respectively, vs. October 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 6 percent and 8 percent, respectively, vs. 2005, which itself saw elevated import levels.

Among the finished steel products showing large increases in November 2007 vs. the prior month were: oil country goods (up 46 percent), bars-light shapes finished (up 40 percent) and hot-rolled sheets (up 38 percent). China continues to dominate imports of pipe and tube products through the first 11 months of 2007. In November, the three largest suppliers of finished steel from offshore were all from Asia — China (309,000 NT, up 1 percent vs. October), South Korea (176,000 NT, up 9 percent) and Japan (106,000 NT, down 3 percent).

Imports Chart