Latest numbers show steel import increase for third consecutive month

Based on preliminary Census Bureau data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reports that the United States imported a total of 2,226,000 net tons (NT) of steel in May, including 1,722,000 NT of finished steel (up 7 percent and 3 percent, respectively, vs. April final data).

This was the highest monthly total since January 2009 and the third consecutive monthly increase.

Annualized total and finished steel imports in 2010 would be 23.0 and 18.1 million NT, respectively, up 42 percent and 28 percent vs. 2009.

Finished steel import market share was an estimated 21 percent in May, vs. a low of 15 percent in August 2009.

Import market share has remained above 20 percent since March.