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October Steel Imports Up 44 Percent

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The American Iron and Steel Institute, Washington, reported that the U.S. imported 3.3 million net tons of steel in October, including 2 million tons of finished steel, according to Census Bureau data. Overall, steel imports for the month were up 44.2 percent and finished steel imports increased 6.7 percent from September.

Steel imports through October totaled 29.4 million tons and finished steel imports totaled 22.1 million tons, down 10.6 percent and 13.4 percent, respectively, from the same period in 2017. Finished steel import market share was an estimated 20 percent in October and is estimated at 21 percent year to date. 

Key finished steel products with significant import increases in October were hot-rolled bars, up 55 percent; line pipe, up 37 percent; mechanical tubing, up 23 percent; tin plate, up 13 percent; and wire drawn, up 13 percent. Major products with significant year-to-date increases include hot-rolled sheets, up 23 percent, and plates in coils up 19 percent.

The largest volumes of finished steel imports from offshore in October were from South Korea at 183,000 tons, down 3 percent; Vietnam at 115,000 tons, up 53 percent; Germany at 113,000 tons, down 3 percent; Japan at 105,000 tons, up 17 percent; and the Netherlands at 78,000 tons, up 35 percent.

Through the first 10 months of 2018, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea at 2.5 million tons, down 26 percent year over year; Japan at 1.2 million tons, down 11 percent; Germany at 1.1 million tons, down 5 percent; Turkey at 1 million tons, down 50 percent; and Taiwan at 913,000 tons, down 21 percent.

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