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September Steel Imports Down 26 Percent

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The American Iron and Steel Institute, Washington, reported that the U.S. imported 2.2 million tons of steel, including 1.9 million tons of finished steel, in September, according to Census Bureau data. Overall, steel imports for the month were down 25.9 percent and finished steel imports decreased 8.6 percent from August.

Steel imports through September totaled 26.2 million tons and finished steel imports totaled 20.1 million tons, down 12 percent and 12.5 percent, respectively, from the same period in 2017. Finished steel import market share was an estimated 20 percent in September and is estimated at 24 percent year to date. 

Key finished steel products with significant import increases in September were standard pipe, up 26 percent; hot-rolled sheets, up 25 percent; and sheets and strip all other metallic coatings, up 23 percent. Major products with significant year-to-date increases include hot-rolled sheets and plates in coils, both up 21 percent.

The largest volumes of finished steel imports from offshore in September were from South Korea at 189,000 tons, up 9 percent from August; Turkey at 133,000 tons, up 12 percent; Germany at 117,000 tons, up 4 percent; Taiwan at 105,000 tons, up 29 percent; and Japan at 90,000 tons, down 11 percent.

Through the first nine months of 2018, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea at 2.3 million tons, down 22 percent year over year; Japan at 1.1 million tons, down 14 percent; Germany at 987,000 tons, down 2 percent; Turkey at 973,000 tons, down 50 percent; and Taiwan at 845,000 tons, down 18 percent.

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