May 2006


Year-to-date steel imports climb 26 percent

Washington, DC— Based on preliminary Census Bureau data for February, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported that the United States imported a total of 3,511,000 net tons (NT) of steel in February 2006, including 2,662,000 NT of finished steel. Year-to-date (YTD) imports in these categories climbed 26 and 24 percent, respectively, compared to YTD imports for the same period in 2005, while February 2006 finished imports jumped 30 percent compared to February 2005.

Looking at a three-month rolling average (the most recent three month period compared to the previous three month period), the trend shows that finished steel imports overall are up 27 percent and that, from certain countries, the trend is especially pronounced — e.g., Taiwan (up 180 percent), Turkey (up 135 percent), China (up 86 percent), South Korea (up 62 percent) and India (up 59 percent). On an annualized basis (based on YTD 2006 imports), total steel imports would exceed 42.1 million NT, which would be the second highest year in history.

Key products with large increases in February compared to the month before include reinforcing bars (up 149 percent), structural shapes heavy (up 81 percent), tin plate (up 42 percent), cold-rolled sheets (up 35 percent), structural pipe & tubing (up 34 percent) and plates in coils (up 23 percent). Products with sizable YTD increases compared to 2005 include reinforcing bars (up 138 percent), galvanized electrolytic sheets & strip (up 70 percent), bars – light shapes (up 81 percent), structural shapes heavy (up 79 percent), plates cut lengths (up 60 percent), galvanized hot dip sheets & strip (up 26 percent) and cold rolled sheets (up 23 percent).


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