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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 3,051,000 net tons (NT) of steel in September 2017, including 2,438,000 NT of finished steel (down 10.3 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively, vs. August final data).

Year-to-date (YTD) through nine months of 2017, total and finished steel imports are 29,663,000 and 22,890,000 NT, up 19.6 percent and 15.7 percent, respectively, vs. the same period in 2016. Annualized total and finished steel imports in 2017 would be 39.6 and 30.5 million NT, up 19.8 percent and 15.9 percent, respectively, vs. 2016. Finished steel import market share was an estimated 27 percent in September and is estimated at 28 percent YTD.

Key finished steel products with significant import increases in September compared to August include reinforcing bars (up 85 percent), line pipe (up 35 percent), tin plate (up 31 percent), oil country goods (up 23 percent) and plates in coils (up 11 percent). Major products with significant year-to-date (YTD) increases vs. the same period in 2016 include oil country goods (up 255 percent), line pipe (up 60 percent), standard pipe (up 45 percent), mechanical tubing (up 32 percent), cold rolled (up 28 percent), sheets and strip all other metallic coatings (up 26 percent), sheets and strip hot dipped galvanized (up 22 percent) and hot rolled bars (up 19 percent).

In September, the largest volumes of finished steel imports from offshore were from South Korea (321,000 NT, down 11 percent from August final), Japan (169,000 NT, up 32 percent), Germany (151,000 NT, up 53 percent), Taiwan (120,000 NT, down 2 percent) and Turkey (112,000 NT, up 5 percent). For the first nine months of 2017, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (2,949,000 NT, down 2 percent vs. the same period in 2016), Turkey (1,944,000 NT, up 5 percent), Japan (1,234,000 NT, down 14 percent), Taiwan (1,026,000 NT, up 36 percent) and Germany (1,001,000 NT, up 6 percent).

Published in the December 2017 Edition of American Recycler News