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October 2006


Imports hit second highest U.S. total
Record pace continues

Washington, DC— Based on preliminary Census Bureau data for June, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported that the United States imported a total of 4,197,000 net tons (NT) of steel in July 2006, including 3,368,000 NT of finished steel (up 13.6 and 8.5 percent, respectively, vs. June’s final data).

July was the second highest monthly total in United States history, surpassed only by the 4,418,000 NT recorded in August 1998. Year-to-date (YTD), imports in these categories are up 38 and 39 percent, respectively, compared to YTD imports for the same period in 2005.

Looking at a three-month rolling average, finished steel imports overall are up 8 percent, with notable increases in plates in coil (up 72 percent), sheets & strip all other metallic coated (up 25 percent), hot-rolled sheets (up 22 percent), sheets & strip galvanized hot dipped (up 13 percent), cut-length plates (up 11 percent) and numerous tubular products, including line pipe, mechanical tubing and oil country goods (up 33, 27 and 14 percent, respectively).

This rising trend remains pronounced, especially in Asia — including India (up 49 percent), China (up 27 percent), South Korea (up 22 percent) and Japan (up 21 percent). Imports from the People’s Republic of China, a non-market economy, are on a pace to exceed 4.5 million tons this year and, in July, China was the single largest source of steel imports to the United States.

Key products with large increases in July compared to the month before include line pipe (up 55 percent), plates in coil (up 51 percent), bars-l ight shapes (up 42 percent), semi- finished steel (used in significant quantities by converters and processors — up 41 percent), oil country goods (up 34 percent) several types of corrosion-resistant steel, including electrolytic galvanized sheets & strip, all other metallic coated sheets & strip and hot dipped galvanized sheets & strip (up 84, 19 and 11 percent, respectively).

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