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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 3,315,000 net tons (NT) of steel in April 2017, including 2,496,000 net tons (NT) of finished steel (down 3.1 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively, vs. March final data).

Year-to-date (YTD) through four months of 2017, total and finished steel imports are 12,270,000 and 9,444,000 NT, up 22.6 percent and 11.5 percent, respectively, vs. the same period in 2016.

Key finished steel products with significant import increases in April compared to March include oil country goods (up 30 percent), heavy structural shapes (up 23 percent), sheets and strip hot dipped galvanized (up 23 percent), hot rolled bars (up 20 percent), sheets and strip all other metallic coatings (up 15 percent) and mechanical tubing (up 14 percent). Major products with significant YTD import increases vs. the same period last year include oil country goods (up 210 percent), cold rolled sheets (up 40 percent), sheets and strip all other metallic coatings (up 39 percent), mechanical tubing (up 28 percent), standard pipe (up 28 percent), sheets and strip hot dipped galvanized (up 26 percent), tin plate (up 25 percent) and line pipe (up 11 percent).

In April, the largest volumes of finished steel imports from offshore were from South Korea (320,000 NT, up 1 percent from March final), Turkey (183,000 NT, down 39 percent), Japan (136,000 NT, up 1 percent), Russia (133,000 NT, up 224 percent) and Taiwan (118,000 NT, up 30 percent).

For the first four months of 2017, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (1,209,000 NT, down 2 percent vs. the same period in 2016), Turkey (984,000 NT, up 16 percent), Japan (517,000 NT, down 13 percent), Taiwan (424,000 NT, up 90 percent) and Germany (339,000 NT, down 6 percent).

Published in the July 2017 Edition of American Recycler News