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December 2007

Year-to-date imports, import market share remain high

Based on preliminary Census Bureau data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported that the United States imported a total of 2,196,000 net tons (NT) of steel in September 2007, including 1,876,000 NT of finished steel (down 17 percent and 9 percent, respectively, vs. August final data). While overall imports year-to-date (YTD) have declined vs. the all-time record year of 2006, total and finished steel imports YTD, on an annualized basis, remain up 8 percent and 11 percent, respectively, vs. 2005, which itself saw historically high import levels. On an annualized basis, total imports of steel in 2007 would be 34.6 million NT.

Among the products showing large increases in September 2007 vs. the prior month were sheets & strips, all other metallic coated (up 146 percent), tin plate (up 28 percent) and cut-to-length plates (up 11 percent). YTD, imports of pipe and tube, driven largely by China, remain at very high levels (e.g., line pipe is up 60 percent vs. 2006). In September, the five largest suppliers of finished steel from offshore were China (264,000 NT, down 28 percent vs. August), South Korea (161,000 NT, up 12 percent), Brazil (110,000 NT, up 130 percent) Japan (92,000 NT, down 41 percent) and India (79,000 NT, up 14 percent).