Steel imports: First monthly increase in 2009

Based on preliminary Census Bureau data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported that the United States imported a total of 985,000 net tons (NT) of steel in July 2009, including 884,000 NT of finished steel (up 14 percent and 9 percent, respectively, vs. June final data). Total and finished steel imports on an annualized basis are down 48 percent and 41 percent, respectively. Annualized total imports of steel in 2009 would be 16.5 million NT. Finished steel import market share was an estimated 17 percent in July and year-to-date (YTD) through seven months is an estimated 25 percent.

Steel Mill Imports

Key finished steel products with increases in July 2009 compared to June include plates-in-coils (up 63 percent), reinforcing bars (up 55 percent), standard pipe (up 36 percent) and hot dipped galvanized sheet and strip (up 21 percent).

In July, the largest volume of finished imports from offshore was from Japan (87,000 NT, up 48 percent). Other major offshore suppliers in July were South Korea (74,000 NT, up 86 percent) and India (50,000 NT, up 51 percent).