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YTD Steel Imports Down 5.3 Percent

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The American Iron and Steel Institute, Washington, reported that the U.S. imported 2.4 million tons of steel and 1.9 million tons of finished steel in February, according to Census Bureau data. Overall, steel imports for the month were down 18 percent and finished steel imports decreased 17.6 percent, compared with January.

Steel imports through February totaled 5.2 million tons and finished steel imports totaled 4.3 million tons, down 5.3 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively, from the same period in 2017. Finished steel import market share was an estimated 24 percent in February and is estimated at 25 percent year to date. 

Key finished steel products with significant import increases in February, compared with January, include: heavy structural shapes, up 60 percent, and wire rods, up 37 percent. Major products with significant year-to-date increases include: oil country goods, up 57 percent; hot-rolled sheets, up 33 percent; line pipe, up 30 percent; hot-rolled bars, up 27 percent; mechanical tubing, up 17 percent; and plates in coils, up 16 percent.

The largest volumes of finished steel imports from offshore in February were from South Korea at 277,000 tons, down 18 percent from January; Germany at 116,000, up 28 percent; Japan at 90,000, down 37 percent; Taiwan at 75,000, down 36 percent; and China at 60,000, down 16 percent.

Through the first two months of 2018, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea at 616,000 tons, up 8 percent from the same period last year; Japan at 232,000, down 5 percent; Germany at 206,000, up 54 percent; Turkey at 195,000, down 61 percent; and Taiwan at 192,000, down 10 percent.

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