August steel imports show gains compared to July
Based on preliminary Census Bureau data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported that the U.S. imported a total of 2,475,000 net tons (NT) of steel in August, including 1,929,000 NT of finished steel (down 11 percent and 13 percent, respectively, from July final data).
Year-to-date (YTD) finished steel imports, however, are up 18 percent vs. the same period in 2011. Finished steel import market share in August was an estimated 21 percent and is estimated at 24 percent YTD.
Key finished steel products with a significant import increase in August 2012 compared to July are heavy structural shapes (up 59 percent), reinforcing bar (up 55 percent), tin plate (up 29 percent), plates – cut lengths (up 22 percent) and cold rolled sheets (up 20 percent). Major products with significant YTD import increases vs. the same period last year include reinforcing bar (up 48 percent), line pipe (up 43 percent), plates – cut lengths (up 37 percent) and sheets & strip galvanized hot dipped (up 33 percent).
In August, the largest volumes of finished steel imports from offshore were all from Asia and Europe. They were South Korea (193,000 NT, down 45 percent), China (157,000 NT, up 32 percent), Turkey (131,000 NT, up 254 percent), Japan (130,000 NT, down 34 percent) and Germany (92,000 NT, up 3 percent).
For the first 8 months of 2012, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (2,431,000 NT, up 21 percent), Japan (1,328,000 NT, up 34 percent), China (1,083,000 NT, up 29 percent), Turkey (1,072,000 NT, up 100 percent) and Germany (818,000 NT, up 25 percent).