August steel import figures lowest to date in 2009
Based on preliminary Census Bureau data, the American
Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported that the United
States imported a total of 855,000 net tons (NT) of steel
in August 2009, including 786,000 NT of finished steel
(down 14 percent and 12 percent vs. July final data).
These were the lowest monthly import figures to date
in 2009. Total and finished steel imports on an annualized
basis are down 51 percent and 44 percent.
Annualized total imports of steel in 2009 would be 15.7
million NT. Finished steel import market share, which
was an estimated 15 percent in August, remains at an
estimated 24 percent year-to-date through 8 months.
Key finished steel products with increases in August
2009 compared to July include wire rods (up 86 percent),
hot rolled sheets (up 44 percent) and cold rolled sheets
(up 32 percent).
In August, the largest volumes of finished steel imports
from offshore were from South Korea (84,000 NT, up 12
percent), Brazil (37,000 NT, up 358 percent) and China
(30,000 NT, up 3 percent).
Based on the first eight months of 2009, finished imports
from China would annualize at 1.9 million NT, which would
be 61 percent less than in 2008 but above any other offshore