Steel imports increase 5 percent

Based on preliminary Census Bureau data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported that the United States imported a total of 2,670,000 net tons (NT) of steel in June, including 2,110,000 NT of finished steel (down 10 percent and up 5 percent, respectively, from May final data). Finished steel import market share in June was an estimated 24 percent and is 22 percent year-to date (YTD).

Steel imports

In commenting on the June 2011 preliminary steel finished imports data, Thomas J. Gibson, AISI president and CEO, stated that, “An import market share of 24 percent in the context of significant underutilized domestic steel capacity is substantial. There has also been a trend of rising finished steel imports from offshore – especially Asia – in recent months. These developments underscore the need for the United States government to vigorously enforce our laws against injurious dumped and subsidized imports.”

Key finished steel products with significant import increases in June 2011 compared to May inclu­de cut length plates (up 19 percent), line pipe (up 18 percent), heavy structural shapes (up 17 percent) and cold rolled sheets (up 17 percent). Major products with significant YTD import increases vs. the same period last year include reinforcing bar (up 55 percent), oil country goods (up 41 percent) and hot rolled bars (up 33 percent).

In June, the largest volumes of finished steel imports from offshore were from South Korea (301,000 NT, up 28 percent), China (161,000 NT, up 26 percent), Japan (123,000 NT, down 17 percent), Turkey (90,000 NT, no change) and Taiwan (75,000 NT, up 56 percent). For the first 6 months of 2011, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (1,488,000 NT, up 67 percent) and Japan (756,000 NT, up 22 percent).