Steel imports decrease by 7 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 2,441,000 net tons (NT) of steel in February, including 1,819,000 net tons (NT) of finished steel (down 7 percent and 15 percent, respectively, vs. January final data). Year-to-date (YTD) total and finished steel imports are 5,058,000 and 3,963,000 net tons (NT), respectively, down 9 percent and 8 percent vs. 2012. Finished steel import market share was an estimated 22 percent in February and is estimated at 23 percent YTD.
Key finished steel products with a significant import increase in February 2013 compared to January are cut lengths plates (up 44 percent) and plates in coils (up 24 percent). Major products with significant YTD import increases vs. the same period last year include sheets and strip hot dipped galvanized (up 22 percent), wire drawn (up 17 percent) and line pipe (up 11 percent).
In February, the largest volumes of finished steel imports from offshore were all from Asia and Europe. They were South Korea (249,000 NT, down 31 percent), China (143,000 NT, down 15 percent), Japan (126,000 NT, down 10 percent), Turkey (114,000 NT, down 15 percent) and Germany (100,000 NT, up 36 percent). For 2 months of 2013, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (611,000 NT, down 7 percent), China (311,000 NT, up 65 percent), Japan (265,000 NT, down 14 percent), Turkey (249,000 NT, down 29 percent) and Germany (173,000 NT, down 4 percent).