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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 2,686,000 net tons (NT) of steel in December 2016, including 2,146,000 net tons (NT) of finished steel (down 4.3 percent and up 0.6 percent, respectively, vs. November final data).

For the full year 2016, total and finished steel imports are 33,009,000 and 26,327,000 NT, down 14.9 percent and 16.4 percent, respectively, compared to full year 2015. Finished steel import market share was an estimated 26 percent in December and is estimated at 26 percent for full year 2016.

Key finished steel products with significant import increases in December compared to November include oil country goods (up 55 percent), line pipe (up 38 percent), sheets and strip all other metallic coated (up 27 percent), tin plate (up 24 percent), sheets and strip hot dipped galvanized (up 14 percent) and hot rolled bars (up 11 percent). Tin plate (up 15 percent) had a significant increase in 2016 vs. the prior year.

In December, the largest volumes of finished steel imports from offshore were from South Korea (264,000 NT, down 3 percent from November final), Turkey (154,000 NT, down 17 percent), Taiwan (147,000 NT, up 71 percent), Japan (115,000 NT, up 15 percent) and Germany (86,000 NT, down 0.4 percent). For full year 2016, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (3,805,000 NT, down 22 percent vs. the same period in 2015), Turkey (2,415,000 NT, down 14 percent), Japan (1,798,000 NT, down 20 percent), Germany (1,192,000 NT, down 21 percent), Taiwan (1,083,000 NT, down 10 percent), Vietnam (960,000 NT, up 332 percent) and China (862,000 NT, down 64 percent).

Published in the March 2017 Edition of American Recycler News