Steel imports rise in May

Based on preliminary Census Bureau data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported that the United States imported a total of 2,226,000 net tons (NT) of steel in May, including 1,722,000 NT of finished steel (up 7 percent and 3 percent, respectively, vs. April final data). This was the highest monthly total since January 2009 and the 3rd consecutive monthly increase. Finished steel import market share was an estimated 21 percent in May, vs. a low of 15 percent in August 2009. Import market share has remained above 20 percent since March.

Steel Imports

Key finished steel products with significant import increases in May 2010 compared to April include plates in coils (up 34 percent), tin plate (up 32 percent), mechanical tubing (up 23 percent), oil country goods (up 21 percent) and sheets and strip galvanized hot dipped (up 17 percent).

In May, the largest volumes of finished steel imports from offshore were from South Korea (180,000, down 8 percent), Japan (122,000 NT, up 34 percent), India (116,000, up 187 percent), Germany (96,000 NT, up 12 percent) and China (60,000, down 2 percent).