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YTD Steel Imports Up 22 Percent

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The American Iron and Steel Institute reported that the U.S. imported 3.5 million tons of steel and 2.9 million tons of finished steel in July, according to Census Bureau data. Overall, July steel imports were down 11.5 percent and finished steel imports decreased 4 percent compared with the previous month.

Steel imports for the first seven months of 2017 totaled 23.2 million tons and finished steel imports totaled 17.9 million tons, up 22.1 percent and 17.3 percent, respectively, over the same period in 2016. Finished steel import market share was an estimated 29 percent in July and is estimated at 28 percent year to date.

Key finished steel products with significant import increases in July, compared with June, include: standard pipe, up 38 percent; cut lengths plates, up 28 percent; line pipe, up 17 percent; and oil country goods, up 12 percent. Major products with significant year-to-date increases include: oil country goods, up 254 percent; standard pipe, up 47 percent; line pipe, up 39 percent; cold-rolled sheets, up 37 percent; sheets and strip and all other metallic coatings, up 35 percent; mechanical tubing, up 32 percent; hot-rolled bars, up 26 percent; sheets and strip hot-dipped galvanized, up 25 percent; wire rods, up 13 percent; and tin plate, up 11 percent.

The largest volumes of finished steel imports from offshore in July were from South Korea at 337,000 tons, down 13 percent from June; Turkey at 252,000 tons, down 23 percent; Germany at 148,000 tons, up 27 percent; Japan at 137,000 tons, down 2 percent; and Taiwan at 120,000 tons, down 29 percent.

Through the first seven months of 2017, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea at 2.3 million tons, down 5 percent from the same period in 2016; Turkey at 1.7 million tons, up 14 percent; Japan at 937,000 tons, down 12 percent; Taiwan at 784,000 tons, up 54 percent; and Germany at 750,000 tons, up 7 percent.