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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 3,434,000 net tons (NT) of steel in May 2017, including 2,574,000 NT of finished steel (up 2.5 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively, vs. April final data).

Year-to-date (YTD) through 5 months of 2017, total and finished steel imports are 15,740,000 and 12,050,000 NT, up 22.2 percent and 14.2 percent, respectively, vs. the same period in 2016.

Key finished steel products with significant import increases in May compared to April include cut lengths plates (up 46 percent), tin plate (up 45 percent), plates in coils (up 33 percent), line pipe (up 29 percent), standard pipe (up 19 percent), hot rolled bars (up 15 percent) and reinforcing bars (up 12 percent).

Major products with significant YTD import increases vs. the same period last year include oil country goods (up 227 percent), cold rolled sheets (up 38 percent), sheets and strip all other metallic coatings (up 36 percent), standard pipe (up 34 percent), sheets and strip hot dipped galvanized (up 27 percent), mechanical tubing (up 26 percent), line pipe (up 25 percent), hot rolled bars (up 24 percent) and tin plate (up 23 percent).

In May, the largest volumes of finished steel imports from offshore were from South Korea (329,000 NT, up 3 percent from April final), Turkey (154,000 NT, down 17 percent), Germany (142,000 NT, up 26 percent), Japan (127,000 NT, down 11 percent) and India (86,000 NT, up 84 percent). For the first five months of 2017, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (1,539,000 NT, down 3 percent vs. the same period in 2016), Turkey (1,141,000 NT, up 14 percent), Japan (650,000 NT, down 8 percent), Taiwan (497,000 NT, up 67 percent) and Germany (481,000 NT, down 1 percent).

Published in the August 2017 Edition of American Recycler News