July 8, 2015
Steel Imports Slow in May
The U.S. imported 3.4 million tons of steel in May, a decrease of 3.6 percent versus April, reports the American Iron and Steel Institute in Washington. Finished steel imports of 2.7 million tons declined 7.2 percent.
For the year to date, total steel imports increased 6 percent to 18.6 million tons. Finished steel imports of 15.4 million tons represented a 20 percent gain compared to the first five months of 2014. On an annualized basis, total imports of 44.6 million tons would be up 1 percent and finished steel imports of 36.8 million tons would be up 9 percent compared to the prior year. Finished steel import market share was estimated at 29 percent in May, down from the 32 percent for the year to date.
Products that saw a significant increase in May imports included tin plate, up 101 percent from the prior month; sheets and strip galvanized hot-dipped, up 17 percent; and hot-rolled bars, up 15 percent. The biggest increases through five months were line pipe, up 67 percent; standard pipe, up 44 percent; rebar, up 38 percent; and heavy structural shapes and cut-length plates, both up 36 percent.
In May, the largest volume of imports came from South Korea at 355,000 tons, down 30 percent compared to April; China at 302,000 tons, up 3 percent; Turkey at 222,000 tons, down 3 percent; and Japan at 184,000 tons, down 19 percent. Through five months, the largest suppliers were South Korea at 2.7 million tons, up 28 percent; Turkey at 1.4 million tons, up 90 percent; China at 1.3 million tons, up 3 percent; and Japan at 1.0 million tons, up 23 percent.