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August Steel Imports Down 1 Percent

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The American Iron and Steel Institute, Washington, reported that the U.S. imported 3 million tons of steel, including 2 million tons of finished steel, in August, according to Census Bureau data. Overall, steel imports for the month were down 0.8 percent and finished steel imports decreased 8.1 percent from July.

Steel imports through August totaled 23.8 million tons and finished steel imports totaled 18.2 million tons, down 10.4 percent and 11 percent, respectively, from the same period in 2017. Finished steel import market share was an estimated 21 percent in August and is estimated at 24 percent year to date. 

Key finished steel products with significant import increases in August were wire rods, up 30 percent, and cut length plates, up 13 percent. Major products with significant year-to-date increases were plates in coils, up 21 percent, and hot-rolled sheets, up 18 percent.

The largest volumes of finished steel imports from offshore in August were from South Korea at 169,000 tons, down 11 percent from July; Turkey at 119,000 tons, up 61 percent; Germany at 112,000 tons, up 14 percent; Japan at 101,000 tons, down 23 percent; and Taiwan at 81,000 tons, down 18 percent.

Through the first eight months of 2018, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea at 2.1 million tons, down 20 percent year over year; Japan at 974,000, tons down 9 percent; Germany 17 870,000 tons, up 2 percent; Turkey at 840,000 tons, down 54 percent; and Taiwan at 740,000 tons, down 18 percent.