By Paul Ploumis
ALBANY (Scrap Monster): Based on preliminary Census Bureau data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported today that the U.S. imported a total of 2,681,611 net tons (NT) of steel in October 2016, including 2,225,455 net tons (NT) of finished steel (down 3.4% and up by 4.7%, respectively, vs. September final data).
Year-to-date total and finished steel imports are 27,454,861 and 22,017,488 net tons (NT), down 19.0% and 19.8% respectively, vs. the same period in 2015. Finished steel import market share was estimated at 26% in October and at 25% during the initial ten-month period of the year.
Key finished steel products with a significant import increase in October this year when compared to September are oil country goods (up 79%), heavy structural shapes (up 68%), line pipes (up 30%), hot dipped galvanized sheets and strip (up 17%), wire rods (up 15%), standard pipe (up 12%), cold rolled sheets (up 11%) and plates in coils (up 11%). On year-to-date (YTD) basis, tin plates (up 12%) recorded significant increase in imports.
The preliminary imports of oil country goods totaled 148,693 NT in October, significantly higher by 78.8% when compared with the final imports of 83,151 NT in September. Heavy structural shapes imports totaled 90,654 NT in October, higher by 67.7% when matched with 54,045 NT in September. The other product category that witnessed considerable jump in import volume was Line Pipes. The imports were up by 30% month-on-month from 66,659 NT in September to 86,648 NT in October this year.
On the other hand, the imports of Reinforcing bars witnessed sharp decline over the month in October 2016. The imports dropped by 33.4% from 167,337 NT in September to 111,461 NT in October. Ingots and Billets and Slabs too witnessed 30.5% decline in import volume over the previous month. The imports totaled 450,978 NT in October this year as compared with the imports of 649,068 NT during the prior month. The imports of cut length plates declined by nearly 22.8% from 102,217 NT to 78,954 NT.
The key finished steel imports during the ten-month period from January to October this year were Ingots, Billets and Slabs (5,439,947 NT), Hot Rolled Sheets (2,552,212 NT) and Sheets and Strip Galvanized Hot Dipped (2,523,289 NT).
In October, the largest exporters of finished steel to the US were South Korea (272,000 NT, down 4% from September final), Turkey (222,000 NT, up 40%), Japan (143,000 NT, down 9%), Vietnam (105,000 NT, up 6%) and Taiwan (95,000 NT, down 8%).
For first ten months of 2016, the largest overseas suppliers of finished steel to the US were South Korea (3,265,000 NT, down 24% vs. the same period in 2015), Turkey (2,076,000 NT, down 17%), Japan (1,579,000 NT, down 19%), Germany (1,019,000 NT, down 22%), Taiwan (850,000 NT, down 23%), Vietnam (777,000 NT, up 392%) and China (741,000 NT, down 66%).
The estimated annualized finished steel imports for the whole year 2016 from various offshore countries are as follows:- South Korea (3,918,000 NT, down 19.3% vs 2015), Turkey (2,491,000 NT, down 11.7%), Japan (1,895,000 NT, down 16.1%), Germany (1,222,000 NT, down 19.3%) and Taiwan (1,020,000 NT, down 15.3%).
AISI serves as the voice of the North American steel industry in the public policy arena and advances the case for steel in the marketplace as the preferred material of choice. AISI also plays a lead role in the development and application of new steels and steelmaking technology. AISI is comprised of 19 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and approximately 125 associate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry.