MAY 2012

Steel imports decline by 5 percent in February

Based on preliminary Census Bureau data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported that the U.S. imported a total of 2,689,000 net tons (NT) of steel in February, including 2,051,000 NT of finished steel (down 5 percent and 7 percent, respectively, from January final data).

Finished steel import market share in February was an estimated 23 percent. Import market share thru 2 months of this year is 23 percent, up from the 22 percent for full year 2012.

Key finished steel products with significant import increases in February 2012 compared to January are wire rods (up 77 percent), sheets and strip galvanized hot dipped (up 39 percent), plates in coils (up 15 percent) and hot rolled bars (up 11 percent).

Major products with significant YTD import increases vs. the same period last year include plates in coils (up 85 percent), reinforcing bar (up 79 percent), sheet and strip all other metallic coated (up 81 percent), heavy structural shapes (up 65 percent) and sheet and strip galvanized hot dipped (up 65 percent).

In February, the largest volumes of finished steel imports from offshore were from South Korea (298,000, down 15 percent), Japan (162,000 NT, up 11 percent), Turkey (160,000 down 5 percent), India (109,000 NT, up 182 percent) and China (87,000, down 15 percent). For the first 2 months of 2012, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (648,000, up 62 percent), Turkey (328,000 NT, up 211 percent) and Japan (308,000 NT, up 19 percent).