Specialty Steel Consumption, Imports Up Substantially in 2011

Imports of specialty steel, including stainless steel, alloy tool steel and electrical steel, totaled 615,409 tons year to date through July, a 37.2 percent increase compared to the same period last year, reports the Specialty Steel Industry of North America, Washington, D.C.

U.S. consumption of specialty steel totaled 1,563,591 tons, a 32.6 percent increase over last year. Seven-month import penetration was 39.4 percent, a 1.4 percentage point increase from 2010.

The following data by specialty steel product line represents U.S. consumption and imports year to date through July compared to the same 2010 seven-month period:

• Stainless steel sheet/strip: Imports were 250,460 tons, a 19.0 percent increase; U.S. consumption was 963,157 tons, a 34.4 percent increase.

• Stainless steel plate: Imports were 106,570 tons, a 136.7 percent increase; U.S. consumption was 213,247 tons, a 61.0 percent increase.

• Stainless steel bar: Imports were 85,774 tons, a 46.4 percent increase; U.S. consumption was 157,460 tons, a 30.6 percent increase.

• Stainless steel rod: Imports were 18,245 tons, a 33.5 percent increase; U.S. consumption was 47,466 tons, a 32.6 percent increase.

• Stainless steel wire: Imports were 27,777 tons, an 11.3 percent increase; U.S. consumption was 33,300 tons, a 1.4 percent increase.

• Alloy tool steel: Imports were 62,398 tons, a 44.9 percent increase; U.S. consumption was not calculable.

• Electrical steel: Imports were 64,186 tons, a 21.8 percent increase; U.S. consumption was 115,269 tons, a 0.8 percent increase.

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