Steel import supplies remain high
Washington, DC— Based on
preliminary Census Bureau data, the American Iron and Steel Institute
(AISI) reported that the United States imported a total of 2,235,000
net tons (NT) of steel in August, including 1,871,000 NT of finished
steel. While these categories were down 12.4 and 3.8 percent,
respectively, compared to July 2005, individual products up in
August included galvanized hot-dipped sheet & strip (up 40
percent), tin plate (up 25 percent), cold-rolled sheet (up 11
percent) and several tubular categories, including oil country
goods (up 42 percent), standard pipe (up 40 percent) and structural
pipe & tubing (up 21 percent).
Year-to-date (YTD) total and
finished imports continue at a healthy pace, down 3.1 and 3.33
percent, respectively, compared to 2004. Key products with large
YTD increases are cold finished bars (up 44 percent), galvanized
electrolytic sheet & strip (up 39 percent), all other metallic
coated sheet & strip (up 37 percent), tin plate (up 32 percent),
cut-to-length plates (up 22 percent) and many tubular categories,
including oil country goods (up 65 percent), mechanical tubing
(up 18 percent), line pipe (up 17 percent) and structural pipe
& tubing (up 14 percent). YTD finished imports are also up
substantially from non-market economies and countries that historically
subsidize their steel industries and intervene in steel, raw material
and currency markets -- e.g., from Malaysia (imports are up 100
percent), China (up 81 percent), Thailand (up 37 percent), Brazil
(up 19 percent), Japan (up 17 percent), South Korea (up 14 percent)
and Ukraine (up 14 percent).
At the same time, U.S. spot prices
for hot and cold-rolled sheet in August declined for the eleventh
month in a row, according to data reported by Purchasing Magazine.
The September 2004-August 2005 price declines for these products
were 42.5 and 34.3 percent, respectively.
"Steel remains in good supply
in this market, imports continue at a brisk pace and imports in
certain product areas have shown significant growth," said
John P. Surma, president and CEO of United States Steel Corporation
and chairman of AISI.