Steel imports decline in September
Import market share at 20 percent

Based on preliminary Census Bureau data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported that the United States imported a total of 2,107,000 net tons (NT) of steel in September, including 1,589,000 NT of finished steel (down 3 percent and 6 percent, respectively, from August data).

Finished steel import market share was an estimated 20 percent in September, vs. year high 24 percent in July and a low of 15 percent in August 2009. For the year to date, finished steel import market share is 21 percent. In the first nine months of 2010, total and finished steel imports were up 56 percent and 32 percent, respectively, compared to the same period last year.

Steel imports decline in September

Key finished steel products with significant import increases in September 2010 compared to August include cut length plates (up 51 percent), hot rolled sheets (up 39 percent), cold rolled sheets (up 36 percent), and plates in coils (up 27 percent). Many finished steel products have registered significant year-to-date import increases in 2010 vs. the same period last year, including wire rods (up 125 percent) and hot rolled sheets (up 50 percent).

In September, the largest volumes of finished steel imports from offshore were from South Korea (208,000, up 5 percent), Japan (113,000 NT, down 19 percent), China (101,000 up 1 percent), The Netherlands (63,000 NT, up 43 percent) and Germany (58,000, down 13 percent). For the first nine months of 2010, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (1,491,000, up 49 percent), Japan (999,000 NT, up 37 percent) and China (668,000 NT, down 49 percent).