JULY 2008

April steel imports up 15 percent from March numbers

Based on preliminary Census Bureau data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported that the United States imported a total of 2,944,000 net tons (NT) of steel in April 2008, including 2,194,000 NT of finished steel (up 15 and 4 percent, respectively, vs. March final data). Total and finished steel imports through the first four months of 2008 are down 7 and 9 percent, respectively, vs. the same period in 2007. However, the monthly average for finished steel imports in the most recent 3-month period (February-April 2008) is up 8 percent vs. monthly average in the previous 3 months (November 2007-January 2008). Total and finished steel imports on an annualized basis are down 4 and 5 percent, respectively, vs. 2007. On an annualized basis, total imports of steel in 2008 would be 32 million NT.

Key products with large increases in April compared to the month before included: Ingots and Billets and Slabs (up 64%), Hot Rolled Sheets (up 40%), Reinforcing Bar (up 30%), Wire Rods (up 92%), Plates in Coil (up 33%) and Cold Finished Bar (up 32%). For the first four months of 2008, products showing increases vs. the same period in 2007 were Line Pipe (up 26%), Oil Country Goods (up 18%) and Heavy Structural Shapes (up 10%).