September steel imports decline by nine percent
Based on preliminary Census Bureau data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported that the U.S. imported a total of 2,440,000 net tons (NT) of steel in September, including 1,886,000 NT of finished steel (down 9 percent and 8 percent, respectively, from August 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 September was an estimated 22 percent and is estimated at 24 percent YTD.
Key finished steel products with a significant import increase in September 2012 compared to August are standard rails (up 256 percent), sheets and strip all other metallic coatings (up 63 percent), standard pipe (up 16 percent) and wire rods (up 12 percent). Major products with significant YTD import increases vs. the same period last year include reinforcing bar (up 48 percent), line pipe (up 40 percent), sheets & strip galvanized hot dipped (up 33 percent), plates – cut lengths (up 32 percent) and oil country goods (up 31 percent).
In September, the largest volumes of finished steel imports from offshore were all from Asia and Europe. They were South Korea (295,000 NT, up 18 percent), Japan (161,000 NT, up 3 percent), Germany (101,000 NT, up 8 percent), China (92,000 NT, down 44 percent) and Taiwan (81,000 NT, up 100 percent).
For the first 9 months of 2012, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (2,783,000 NT, up 25 percent), Japan (1,515,000 NT, up 36 percent), China (1,182,000 NT, up 25 percent), Turkey (1,112,000 NT, up 96 percent) and Germany (920,000 NT, up 28 percent).