U.S. Steel Imports Continue to Grow
U.S. steel imports increased in January compared to December by 9.4 percent, according to the American Institute for International Steel, McLean Va., reporting preliminary government data.
Steel imports in January totaled 2.05 million tons, 9.4 percent more than both the previous month and the same month last year.
Imports from the NAFTA region jumped by 31.3 percent in January over the final data for December, as suppliers in the region responded quickly to improved demand, restocking requirements and increased prices in the U.S. market. The increase in imports from the NAFTA region reflect more than the total increase in imports, as non-NAFTA suppliers registered a small decline in total tonnage during the same period.
“The lag time for order to delivery from offshore producers is generally from two to three months, so non-NAFTA imports in January reflect market conditions before the steel market improved,” says David Phelps, president of AIIS.
The data show that imported semifinished products increased from 377,000 in January 2010 to 417,000 tons in January 2011, a 10.5 percent increase.