The U.S. imported 2.3 million tons of steel in March, including 1.8 million finished tons, the American Iron and Steel Association reported. Total imports were up 20.7 percent and finished steel imports increased 23.6 percent compared with February.
Through the first three months of 2021, total imports of 6.6 million tons were up 3.1 percent, while finished steel imports of 4.5 million tons were down 1.4 percent compared with 2020. Finished steel import market share was estimated at 19 percent in March and 18 percent for the first quarter.
Key finished steel products with a significant increase in imports in March compared with February are sheets and strip all other metallic coatings, up 171 percent; rebar, up 66 percent; hot-rolled bars, up 58 percent; and OCTG products, up 45 percent. Products with a significant year-to-date increase were tin plate, up 26 percent; sheets and strips and all other metallic coatings, up 22 percent; and rebar, up 19 percent.
In March, the largest volumes of finished steel imports from offshore were from South Korea at 239,000 tons, up 4 percent from February; Taiwan at 88,000 tons, up 162 percent; Japan at 85,000 tons, down 3 percent; and Germany at 82,000 tons, up 27 percent. For the first three months of 2021, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea at 601,000 tons, up 10 percent; Japan at 219,000 tons, up 8 percent; Turkey at 201,000 tons, up 29 percent; and Germany at 170,000 tons, up 1 percent.