Steel imports on the rise

Based on preliminary Census Bureau data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported today that the U.S. imported a total of 2,072 ,000 net tons (NT) of steel in April, including 1,672,000 NT of finished steel (each up 1 percent respectively, vs. March final data). This was the highest monthly total since January 2009.

Annualized total and finished steel imports in 2010 would be 22.1 and 17.5 million NT, respectively, up 36 percent and 23percent vs. 2009.

Finished steel import market share was an estimated 21 percent in April, vs. a low of 15 percent in August 2009. This is the highest import market share in the last 11 months.

Key finished steel products with significant import increases in April 2010 compared to March include all other metallic sheet and strip (up 128 percent), reinforcing bars (up 101 percent), heavy structural shapes (up 80 percent), oil country goods (up 32  percent), line pipe (up 20 percent) and plates in coils (up 20 percent).