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American Iron and Steel Institute reports steel imports up 15.4 percent in 2017. (File Photo)

Steel Imports Up 15 Percent in 2017

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Total steel imports were up 15.4 percent in 2017 at 38.1 million net tons, according to Census Bureau data reported by the American Iron and Steel Institute. Finished steel imports were up 12.2 percent for the year to 29.6 million net tons.

In December, the U.S. imported 2.4 million tons of steel and 1.9 million tons of finished steel. Total steel imports dropped 11.4 percent and finished steel imports decreased 13.5 percent, compared with November. Finished steel import market share was an estimated 22 percent in December and 27 percent for full-year 2017.

Key finished steel products with significant year-over-year increases in 2017 include oil country goods, up 196 percent; line pipe, up 63 percent; standard pipe, up 40 percent; mechanical tubing, up 30 percent; and hot-rolled bars, up 23 percent.

The largest volumes of finished steel imports from offshore in December were from South Korea at 192,000 tons, down 10 percent from November; Germany at 105,000 tons, down 26 percent; Brazil at 96,000 tons, down 2 percent; Japan at 81,000 tons, down 29 percent; and Turkey at 58,000, down 13 percent.

For the full year, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea at 3.8 million tons, down 2 percent from 2016; Turkey at 2.2 million tons, down 9 percent; Japan at 1.5 million tons, down 16 percent; Germany at 1.4 million tons, up 18 percent; and Taiwan at 1.2 million, up 15 percent.

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