Imports decline in November

Based on preliminary Census Bureau data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported that the United States imported a total of 1,784,000 net tons (NT) of steel in November, including 1,495,000 NT of finished steel (down 5 percent and 6 percent, respectively, from October final data).

Since a year-high finished steel import share of 24 percent in July, import market share has continued to remain above 20 percent.

For the year-to-date, finished steel import market share is 21 percent. In the first 11 months of 2010, total and finished steel imports are up 49 percent and 33 percent, respectively, compared to the same period last year.

Steel Imports Decline

Key finished steel products with significant import increases in November 2010 compared to October include hot rolled sheets (up 23 percent) and wire rods (up 14 percent). Many finished steel products have registered large year-to-date import increases in 2010 versus the same period last year, including wire rods (up 87 percent) and hot rolled bars (up 61 percent).

In November, the largest volumes of finished steel imports from offshore were from South Korea (153,000, down 24 percent), Japan (103,000 NT, down 15 percent), Germany (69,000 down 16 percent) and China (70,000 NT, up 23 percent).