Based on preliminary Census Bureau data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported recently that the U.S. imported a total of 2,584,000 net tons (NT) of steel in November, including 1,906,000 net tons (NT) of finished steel (down 16.7% and 16.2%, respectively, vs. October final data). Year-to-date (YTD) total and finished steel imports are 29,636,000 and 22,933,000 net tons (NT), respectively, down 4% and 5% respectively, vs. 2012. Annualized total and finished steel imports in 2013 would be 32.3 and 25.0 million NT, down 3% each, respectively vs. 2012. Finished steel import market share was an estimated 22% in November and is estimated at 23% YTD.
A key finished steel product with a significant import increase in November 2013 compared to October is reinforcing bars (up 26%). Major products with significant YTD import increases vs. the same period last year include reinforcing bars (up 23%), hot rolled bars (up 14%) and sheets and strip all other metallic coatings (up 12%).
In November, the largest volumes of finished steel imports from offshore were all from Asia and Europe. They were from South Korea (244,000 NT, down 38% vs. October final), China (163,000 NT, down 24%), Japan (139,000 NT, up 11%), Germany (103,000 NT, down 5%) and Turkey (75,000 NT, up 3%). For eleven months of 2013, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (3,413,000 NT, down 2%), China (1,755,000 NT, up 18%), Japan (1,746,000 NT, down 5%), Turkey (1,159,000 NT, down 11%) and Germany (1,017,000 NT, down 12%). Below are charts on estimated steel import market share in recent months and on finished steel imports from offshore by country.