US preliminary steel imports down 7 percent in August
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The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported Tuesday that after falling in July, steel imports into the US dropped again in August, according to preliminary US Census Bureau data. The US imported 2.44 million net tons (nt) of steel in August, including 1.8 million nt of finished steel, down 7 percent and 13 percent, respectively from July final data. Finished steel import market share in August was an estimated 20 percent and is 22 percent year-to date (YTD).
US imports of flat-rolled products led the decline from July to August: hot rolled sheet imports were down 44.9 percent, cold rolled sheet imports fell 23.8 percent and hot dipped galvanized sheet imports decreased by 26 percent.
Meanwhile, finished steel products with significant import increases in August 2011 compared to July include reinforcing bar (up 88 percent), line pipe (up 22 percent) and cut length plates (up 16 percent). Major products with significant YTD import increases versus the same period last year include cut length plates (up 49 percent), plates in coils (up 36 percent), reinforcing bar (up 31percent), hot rolled bar (up 29 percent), cold rolled sheets (up 28 percent), oil country goods (up 26 percent) and hot rolled sheets (up 19 percent).
In August, the largest volumes of finished steel imports from offshore were from South Korea (200,000 nt, down 34 percent), China (119,000 nt, down 23 percent), Japan (91,000 nt, down 35 percent), India (84,000 nt, up 58 percent) and Germany (81,000 nt, down 7 percent). For the first 8 months of 2011, the largest offshore suppliers have been South Korea (2,013,000 nt, up 57 percent), Japan (988,000 nt, up 11 percent) and China (837,000 nt, up 48 percent).