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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 3,396,000 net tons (NT) of steel in March 2017, including 2,517,000 NT of finished steel (up 24.8 percent and 21.0 percent, respectively, vs. February final data).

Year-to-date (YTD) through 3 months of 2017, total and finished steel imports are 8,933,000 and 6,927,000 NT, up 18.7 percent and 7.8 percent, respectively, vs. the same period in 2016.

Key finished steel products with significant import increases in March compared to February include heavy structural shapes (up 83 percent), hot rolled sheets (up 53 percent), reinforcing bars (up 49 percent), plates in coils (up 31 percent), oil country goods (up 31 percent), hot rolled bars (up 29 percent), wire rods (up 24 percent) cut lengths plates (up 23 percent), wire drawn (up 23 percent) and tin plate (up 22 percent). Major products with significant YTD import increases vs. the same period last year include oil country goods (up 144 percent), cold rolled sheets (up 45 percent), sheets and strip all other metallic coated (up 41 percent), standard pipe (up 29 percent), sheets and strip hot dipped galvanized (up 23 percent), tin plate (up 21 percent) line pipe (up 16 percent) and reinforcing bars (up 12 percent).

In March, the largest volumes of finished steel imports from offshore were from South Korea (317,000 NT, up 22 percent from February final), Turkey (298,000 NT, up 52 percent), Japan (135,000 NT, up 35 percent), Germany (93,000 NT, up 77 percent) and Taiwan (90,000 NT, down 12 percent). For the first three months of 2017, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (889,000 NT, down 1 percent vs. the same period in 2016), Turkey (801,000 NT, up 10 percent), Japan (380,000 NT, down 16 percent), Taiwan (304,000 NT, up 94 percent) and Vietnam (249,000 NT, up 32 percent).

Published in the June 2017 Edition of American Recycler News