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August 2006


May imports increase to 3.8 million tons

Washington, DC— Based on preliminary Census Bureau data for May, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported that the United States imported a total of 3,833,000 million net tons (NT) of steel in May 2006, including 3,086,000 NT of finished steel (up 2.4 and down 1.3 percent, respectively, vs. April’s final data). Year-to-date (YTD) imports in these categories are up 33 and 31 percent, respectively, compared to YTD imports for the same period in 2005. Finished steel imports in May 2006 were 41 percent higher than in May 2005.

Looking at a three-month rolling average (the most recent three month period compared to the previous three month period), finished steel imports overall are up 23 percent, with notable increases in plates in coil (up 78 percent), line pipe (up 60 percent), cold-rolled sheets (up 43 percent), reinforcing bars (up 37 percent), hot-rolled sheets (up 35 percent), tin plate (up 32 percent), cut-to-length plates (up 31 percent), galvanized hot-dipped sheets & strip (up 27 percent) and oil country goods (up 27 percent). The rising trend remains especially pronounced for the following countries: Taiwan (up 51 percent), Turkey (up 38 percent), Japan (up 23 percent), China (up 20 percent) and Brazil (up 19 percent).

Key products with large increases in May compared to the month before include hot-rolled sheets (up 45 percent), plates in coil (up 30 percent), line pipe (up 24 percent) and semi-finished steel, used in significant quantities by converters and processors (up 22 percent).

Products with sizable YTD increases compared to 2005 include reinforcing bars (up 118 percent), heavy structural shapes (up 84 percent), cold-rolled sheets (up 59 percent), hot-rolled sheets (up 51 percent), numerous pipe and tube products, including line pipe (up 48 percent), cut-to-length plates (up 41 percent), semi-finished steel (up 41 percent), bars – light shapes (up 36 percent) and galvanized hot dipped sheets & strip (up 35 percent) and plates in coil (up 33 percent).

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