MARCH 2011

Finished steel imports in 2010 show a 33 percent increase versus 2009

Based on preliminary Census Bureau data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported that the United States imported a total of 1,811,000 net tons (NT) of steel in December, including 1,445,000 NT of finished steel (up 1 percent and down 3 percent, respectively, from November final data).

Imports Chart

Full year total and finished steel imports in 2010 are 23.8 and 18.8 million NT, respectively, up 47 percent and 33 percent vs. 2009. In the first half 2010, finished steel import share hit a high of 24 percent in July, and remained above 20 percent for the rest of the year. For full year 2010, finished steel import market share was an estimated 21 percent.

Key finished steel products with significant import increases in December 2010 compared to November include cut length plates (up 37 percent), hot rolled bars (up 25 percent) and line pipe (up 17 percent). Many key finished steel products also registered large import increases for full year 2010 versus the year before, including wire rods (up 73 percent), hot rolled bars (up 56 percent), oil country goods (up 48 percent), plates in coils (up 40 percent), hot rolled sheets (up 38 percent) and hot dipped galvanized sheet and strip (up 37 percent).

In December, the largest volumes of finished steel imports from offshore were from South Korea (165,000, up 8 percent), Japan (101,000 NT, down 2 percent), Germany (65,000 down 6 percent), The Netherlands (65,000 NT, up 2 percent) and China (55,000, down 21 percent). For full year 2010, the largest volumes of finished steel imports from offshore were from South Korea (2 million NT, up 52 percent), Japan (1,324,000 NT, up 35 percent), Germany (879,000 NT, up 78 percent), China (849,000 NT, down 42 percent) and India (713,000 NT, up 23 percent).