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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 4,016,000 net tons (NT) of steel in May, including 2,925,000 NT of finished steel (up 7.4 percent and 6.4 percent, respectively, vs. April final data).

Year-to-date (YTD) total and finished steel imports are 17,480,000 and 12,829,000 NT, respectively, up 32 percent and 23 percent respectively, vs. 2013.

Key finished steel products with a significant import increase in May compared to April are oil country goods (up 55 percent), heavy structural shapes (up 44 percent), tin plate (up 39 percent), standard pipe (up 22 percent), line pipe (up 22 percent), hot rolled sheets (up 21 percent) and sheets and strip galvanized hot dipped (up 21 percent). Major products with significant YTD import increases vs. the same period last year include wire rods (up 96 percent), plates in coils (up 76 percent), cold rolled sheets (up 56 percent), sheets and strip all other metallic coatings (up 47 percent), sheets and strip galvanized hot dipped (up 40 percent), hot rolled sheets (39 percent), mechanical tubing (35 percent), oil country goods (up 26 percent), reinforcing bars (up 24 percent), cut lengths plates (up 24 percent) and heavy structural shapes up 20 percent).

In May, the largest volumes of finished steel imports from offshore were from South Korea (584,000 NT, up 45 percent vs. April final), China (303,000 NT, down 27 percent), Turkey (149,000 NT, up 5 percent), Japan (145,000 NT, down 31 percent) and Taiwan (106,000 NT, up 19 percent). For 5 months of 2014, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (2,152,000 NT, up 42 percent), China (1,286,000 NT, up 73 percent), Japan (852,000 NT, up 3 percent), Turkey (760,000 NT, up 19 percent) and Russia (501,000 NT, up 324 percent).

Published in the August 2014 Edition of American Recycler News