June 2008 steel imports up 7% from May 2008
Based on preliminary Census Bureau data, the American
Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported that the United
States imported a total of 2,675,000 net tons (NT) of
steel in June 2008, including 2,068,000 NT of finished
steel (up 7 percent and 1 percent, respectively, vs.
May final data).
While total and finished steel imports through the first
six months of 2008 are down 11 percent and 13 percent,
respectively vs. the same period in 2007, the monthly
average for finished imports in the most recent 3-month
period (April-June 2008) is up 2 percent vs. the monthly
average in the previous 3 months (January-March 2008).
Total and finished imports on an annualized basis this
year are each down 5 percent vs. 2007.
Key products with large increases in June compared to
the month before include: Wire Rods (up 56 percent),
Sheets & Strip All Other (up 53 percent), Standard
Pipe (up 47 percent), Plates – Cut Lengths (up 27 percent),
Bars – Hot Rolled (up 26 percent) and Reinforcing Bar
(up 18 percent). For the first six months of 2008, products
with significant increases vs. the same period in 2007
include Oil Country Goods (up 24 percent) and Line Pipe
(up 16 percent).
In June, the largest volume of finished steel imports
from offshore was from China (347,000 NT, up 20 percent
from May). While steel imports from China in the first
six months of 2008 are down 40 percent compared to the
same period last year, June saw China register its highest
monthly volume of the year. Much of this tonnage is in
high-value steel products still receiving government
export tax rebates (e.g., OCTG, line pipe and hot-dipped