November steel imports increase
Based on preliminary Census Bureau data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported that the U.S. imported a total of 2,659,000 net tons (NT) of steel in November, including 1,988,000 NT of finished steel (up 2 percent and down 6 percent, respectively, from October 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 November was an estimated 24 percent and is estimated at 24 percent YTD.
Key finished steel products with a significant import increase in November 2012 compared to October are reinforcing bars (up 60 percent), sheets and strip all other metallic coatings (up 43 percent), cold rolled sheets (up 28 percent) and plates in coils (up 20 percent). Major products with significant YTD import increases vs. the same period last year include reinforcing bar (up 57 percent), line pipe (up 40 percent), sheets & strip galvanized hot dipped (up 38 percent), oil country goods (up 27 percent), sheets and strip all other metallic coatings (up 24 percent) and cut lengths plates (up 22 percent).
In November, the largest volumes of finished steel imports from offshore were all from Asia and Europe. They were South Korea (286,000 NT, down 25 percent), China (145,000 NT, up 10 percent), Japan (143,000 NT, down 21 percent), Turkey (108,000 NT, up 54 percent) and Germany (101,000 NT, down 17 percent). For the first 11 months of 2012, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (3,478,000 NT, up 32 percent), Japan (1,844,000 NT, up 37 percent), China (1,469,000 NT, up 28 percent), Turkey (1,294,000 NT, up 99 percent) and Germany (1,153,000 NT, up 33 percent).