US Steel Imports Down 29 Percent This Year

29 July 2016

The United States imported 2.63 million net tons of steel in June, an 8.6 percent decline as compared to May, according to preliminary U.S. Census Bureau data.

The American Iron and Steel Institute reported that finished imports fell 6.3 percent to 2.2 million net tons in June. That included about 334,000 net tons from South Korea, 196,000 net tons from Turkey, 145,000 net tons from Japan and 94,000 net tons from Taiwan.

Finished imports are down about 10.8 percent as compared to June 2015, according to the AISI.

So far this year, the United States has imported 15.5 million tons of steel, and 12.7 million tons of finished steel. Both are down 29 percent as compared to the first six months of 2015. Imports have captured about 25 percent of the U.S. market share, which is less than 2015.  

Though slowing, imports levels remain high. The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor, which counts steel as one of its top inbound cargoes, has been handling near-record volumes this year.

Imports of sheets and strip rose 44 percent last month, while reinforcing bar imports shot up by 39 percent and line pipe imports rose by 26 percent. The United States also saw big increases in imports of line pipe, plates in coils, heavy structural shapes, cold rolled sheets, hot rolled bars and tin plate.

Though steel production still trails last year's rate, steel prices have been climbing. U.S. Steel reported Tuesday the average price of a ton of hot-rolled coil grew to $642 in the second quarter, up from $611 in the first quarter.


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