The American Iron and Steel Institute, Washington, reported that the U.S. imported 2.4 million net tons of steel in November, including 1.9 million tons of finished steel, according to Census Bureau data. Steel imports for the month were down 27.2 percent and finished steel imports decreased 4.1 percent from October.
Steel imports through November totaled 31.8 million tons and finished steel imports totaled 24 million tons, down 10.8 percent and 13.2 percent, respectively, from the same period in 2017. Finished steel import market share was an estimated 21 percent in November and is estimated at 23 percent year to date.
Key finished steel products with significant import increases in November were heavy structural shapes, up 67 percent; wire rods, up 57 percent; sheets and strip all other metallic coatings, up 24 percent; and mechanical tubing, up 12 percent. Major products with significant year-to-date increases include hot-rolled sheets, up 22 percent, and plates in coils, up 16 percent.
The largest volumes of finished steel imports from offshore in November were from South Korea at 195,000 tons, up 6 percent; Germany at 125,000 tons, up 10 percent; Vietnam at 121,000 tons, up 5 percent; Japan at 115,000 tons, up 8 percent; and Taiwan at 100,000 tons, up 40 percent.
Through the first 11 months of 2018, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea at 2.7 million tons, down 25 percent year over year; Japan at 1.3 million tons, down 10 percent; Germany at 1.2 million tons, down 6 percent; Turkey at 1.1 million tons, down 48 percent; and Taiwan at 1 million tons, down 16 percent.