August 2008 steel imports down from
Based on preliminary Census Bureau
data, the American Iron and Steel
Institute (AISI) reported that
the United States imported a total
of 2,346,000 net tons (NT) of steel
in August 2008, including 1,958,000
NT of finished steel (down 19 percent
and 13 percent, respectively, vs.
July final data).
While total and finished steel imports
through the first eight months
of 2008 are down 11 percent and
12 percent, respectively, vs. the
same period in 2007, the monthly
average for finished steel imports
in the most recent 3-month period
(June-August 2008) is up 1 percent
vs. the monthly average in the
previous 3 months (March-May 2008).
Total and finished steel imports
on an annualized basis this year
are down 4 percent and 5 percent,
respectively, vs. 2007.
A key product with a large increase
in August compared to the month
before is Hot Rolled Bars (up 17
percent). For the year-to-date
in 2008, products with significant
increases vs. the same period in
2007 include Oil Country Goods
(up 42 percent), Line Pipe (up
10 percent) and Hot Rolled Bars
(up 9 percent).
In August, the largest volume of
finished steel imports from offshore
was from China (485,000 NT, up
37 percent from July). While steel
imports from China in the first
eight months of 2008 are down 30
percent compared to the same period
last year, Chinese imports for
the most recent 3-month period
(June-August) are up 70 percent
compared to the prior 3 months
(March-May). Much of this tonnage
is in high-value steel products
still receiving government export
tax rebates (e.g., OCTG, line pipe
and hot-dipped galvanized sheet).
Other major offshore suppliers
in August include Japan (171,000
NT, up 13 percent from July), South
Korea (166,000 NT, down 35 percent),
Germany (69,000 NT, down 35 percent)
and Ukraine (60,000, up 34 percent).