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Steel Imports up 12% in April

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The U.S. imported 3.7 million net tons of steel and 1.9 million net tons of finished steel in April, reports the Washington, D.C.-based American Iron and Steel Association. Total steel imports were up 12.1 percent, while finished steel imports were up 15.1 percent.

For the year to date, total steel imports of 12.4 million tons were up 1.1 percent over the year-ago period, while finished steel imports of 9.7 million tons were up 2.3 percent. Finished steel imports had a 29 percent market share in April and a 26 percent market share through the first four months of 2018.

Key finished steel products with significant import increases in April included: line pipe, up 87 percent; heavy structural shapes, up 57 percent; tin plate, up 53 percent; reinforcing bars, up 47 percent; and hot-rolled bars, up 39 percent.

Through four months, plates in coil imports were up 43 percent, hot-rolled sheet imports were up 40 percent, line pipe imports were up 31 percent and OCTG product imports were up 25 percent.

In April, the largest volume of finished steel imports was from South Korea at 472,000 tons, up 49 percent from March, followed by Turkey at 146,000 tons, up 9 percent; Vietnam at 131,000 tons, up 62 percent; and Germany at 120,000 tons, up 64 percent. 

For the year to date, South Korea was the largest supplier of steel imports at 1.4 million tons, up 17 percent, followed by Japan at 492,000 tons, down 6 percent; Turkey at 476,000 tons, down 52 percent; and Germany at 409,000 tons, up 21 percent.