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Based on preliminary Census Bureau data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported today that the U.S. imported a total of 3,472,000 net tons (NT) of steel in July 2017, including 2,868,000 net tons (NT) of finished steel (down 11.5 percent and 4.0 percent, respectively, vs. June final data). Year-to-date (YTD) through seven months of 2017, total and finished steel imports are 23,168,000 and 17,938,000 net tons (NT), up 22.1 percent and 17.3 percent, respectively, vs. the same period in 2016.

Annualized total and finished steel imports in 2017 would be 39.7 and 30.8 million NT, up 20.3 percent and 16.8 percent, respectively, vs. 2016. Finished steel import market share was an estimated 29 percent in July and is estimated at 28 percent YTD.

Key finished steel products with significant import increases in July compared to June include standard pipe (up 38 percent), cut lengths plates (up 28 percent), line pipe (up 17 percent) and oil country goods (up 12 percent). Major products with significant year-to-date (YTD) increases vs. the same period in 2016 include oil country goods (up 254 percent), standard pipe (up 47 percent), line pipe (up 39 percent), cold rolled sheets (up 37 percent), sheets and strip all other metallic coatings (up 35 percent), mechanical tubing (up 32 percent), hot rolled bars (up 26 percent), sheets and strip hot dipped galvanized (up 25 percent), wire rods (up 13 percent) and tin plate (up 11 percent).

In July, the largest volumes of finished steel imports from offshore were from South Korea (337,000 NT, down 13 percent from June final), Turkey (252,000 NT, down 23 percent), Germany (148,000 NT, up 27 percent), Japan (137,000 NT, down 2 percent) and Taiwan (120,000 NT, down 29 percent). For the first seven months of 2017, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (2,265,000 NT, down 5 percent vs. the same period in 2016), Turkey (1,723,000 NT, up 14 percent), Japan (937,000 NT, down 12 percent), Taiwan (784,000 NT, up 54 percent) and Germany (750,000 NT, up 7 percent).

Published in the October 2017 Edition of American Recycler News