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November 2007

Steel imports remain high

Based on preliminary Census Bureau data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported that the United States imported a total of 2,558,000 net tons (NT) of steel in August 2007, including 2,034,000 NT of finished steel (down 22 and 18 percent, respectively, vs. July final data).

While overall imports year-to-date (YTD) this year have declined vs. the all-time record year of 2006, total and finished steel imports YTD in 2007, on an annualized basis, remain up 11 and 13 percent, respectively, vs. 2005, which itself saw historically high import levels.

Among the products showing increases in August 2007 vs. the month before were standard rails (up 127 percent), heavy structural shapes (up 26 percent), cold finished bars (up 17 percent) and tin plate (up 16 percent).

In August, the five largest suppliers of finished steel from offshore were China (360,000 NT, down 26 percent vs. July), Japan (147,000 NT, up 2 percent), South Korea (144,000, down 28 percent), Taiwan (130,000, down 26 percent) and Germany (102,000, up 25 percent).