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Based on preliminary Census Bureau data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported that the U.S. imported a total of 2,502,000 net tons (NT) of steel in December 2013,

including 1,884,000 NT of finished steel (down 3.5 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively, versus November final data). 2013 full year total and finished steel imports are 32,146,000 and 24,825,000 NT, respectively, each down 4 percent versus full year 2012. Finished steel import market share was an estimated 22 percent in December and is estimated at 23 percent for full year 2013.

Key finished steel products with a significant import increase in December 2013 compared to November are hot rolled sheets (up 25 percent), hot rolled bars (up 22 percent), standard pipe (up 19 percent), sheets and strip hot dipped galvanized (up 18 percent) and line pipe (up 13 percent). Major products with significant full year 2013 import increases versus full year 2012 include reinforcing bars (up 23 percent) and hot rolled bars (up 15 percent).

In December, the largest volumes of finished steel imports from offshore were all from Asia and Europe. They were from South Korea (300,000 NT, up 21 percent versus November final), Japan (146,000 NT, up 4 percent), China (143,000 NT, down 12 percent), Germany (94,000 NT, down 9 percent) and India (65,000 NT, up 135 percent). For full year 2013, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (3,718,000 NT, up 2 percent versus 2012), China (1,898,000 NT, up 15 percent), Japan (1,894,000 NT, down 2 percent), Turkey (1,204,000 NT, down 11 percent) and Germany (1,112,000 NT, down 13 percent).

Published in the March 2014 Edition of American Recycler News