Steel imports increase 4 percent in April
Based on preliminary Census Bureau data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported that the U.S. imported a total of 2,680,000 net tons (NT) of steel in April, including 2,087,000 NT of finished steel (up 4 percent and 1 percent, respectively, vs. March final data). Year-to-date (YTD) total and finished steel imports are 10,375,000 and 8,178,000 NT, respectively, down 12 percent and 9 percent vs. 2012. Annualized total and finished steel imports in 2013 would be 31.1 and 24.5 million NT, down 7 percent and 5 percent respectively vs. 2012. Finished steel import market share was an estimated 24 percent in April and is estimated at 23 percent YTD.
Key finished steel products with a significant import increase in April 2013 compared to March are plates-in-coils (up 61 percent), standard pipe (up 43 percent), cut lengths plates (up 43 percent) and wire rods (up 39 percent). Major products with significant YTD import increases vs. the same period last year are sheets and strip hot dipped galvanized (up 11 percent).
In April, the largest volumes of finished steel imports from offshore were all from Asia and Europe. They were from South Korea (248,000 NT, down 22 percent), Japan (208,000 NT, up 14 percent), Germany (115,000 NT, up 57 percent) and China (106,000 NT, down 22 percent). For four months of 2013, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (1,210,000 NT, down 2 percent), Japan (657,000 NT, down 1 percent), China (553,000 NT, up 26 percent), Turkey (468,000 NT, down 31 percent) and Germany (362,000 NT, down 8 percent).