Steel imports decline in June

Based on preliminary Census Bureau data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported that the United States imported a total of 849,000 net tons (NT) of steel in June 2009, including 798,000 NT of finished steel (down 18 percent and 22 percent, respectively, vs. May final data). Total and finished steel imports on an annualized basis are down 46 percent and 38 percent, respectively, vs. 2008. Annualized total imports of steel in 2009 would be 17.2 million NT. Finished steel import market share was an estimated 17 percent in June and year-to-date (YTD) through six months is an estimated 27 percent.

Imports Chart

Key products with increases in June 2009 compared to May include Heavy Structural Shapes (up 33 percent), Wire Rods (up 32 percent) and Tin Plate (up 14 percent). For YTD 2009 vs. the same period last year, OCTG imports (led by China) are up 6 percent.

In June, the largest volume of finished imports from offshore was from Japan (59,000 NT, down 4 percent). This was the first time in 14 months that China was not the largest offshore supplier of finished steel. Other major offshore suppliers in June were China (44,000 NT, down 71 percent) and South Korea (40,000 NT, down 66 percent).