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 2,803,858 net tons (NT) of steel in November 2016, including 2,131,719 net tons (NT) of finished steel (up 3.3% and down by 5.5%, respectively, vs. October final data).
Year-to-date total and finished steel imports are 30,321,340 and 24,179,253 net tons (NT), down 16.8% and 17.9% respectively, vs. the same period in 2015. Finished steel import market share was estimated at 26% in November and at 25% during the initial eleven-month period of the year.
Key finished steel products with a significant import increase in November this year when compared to October are structural pipe and tubing (up 29%), plates in coils (up 26%), cold rolled sheets (up 23%) and reinforcing bars (up 17%). On year-to-date (YTD) basis, tin plates (up 14.9%) recorded significant increase in imports.
The preliminary imports of Ingots and Billets and Slabs totaled 669,715 NT in November, significantly higher by 48% when compared with the final imports of 452,513 NT in October. Structural Pipe & Tubing imports totaled 54,158 NT in November, higher by 29.4% when matched with 41,869 NT in October. The other product category that witnessed considerable jump in import volume was Plates in Coils. The imports were up by 25.5% month-on-month from 118,721 NT in October to 149,013 NT in November this year.
On the other hand, the imports of Structural Shapes Heavy witnessed sharp decline over the month in November 2016. The imports dropped by 35% from 90,687 NT in October to 58,963 NT in November. Wire Rods too witnessed 31.4% decline in import volume over the previous month. The imports totaled 103,663 NT in November this year as compared with the imports of 151,120 NT during the prior month. The imports of Oil Country Goods declined by nearly 30.1% from 153,264 NT to 107,086 NT.
The key finished steel imports during the eleven-month period from January to November this year were Ingots, Billets and Slabs (6,111,197 NT), Sheets and Strip Galvanized Hot Dipped (2,792,178 NT) and Hot Rolled Sheets (2,737,000 NT).
In November, the largest exporters of finished steel to the US were South Korea (272,000 NT, down 2% from October final), Turkey (183,000 NT, down 18%), Vietnam (120,000 NT, up 8%), Japan (100,000 NT, down 32%), and Germany (87,000 NT, up 11%).
For first eleven months of 2016, the largest overseas suppliers of finished steel to the US were South Korea (3,542,000 NT, down 23% vs. the same period in 2015), Turkey (2,259,000 NT, down 14%), Japan (1,683,000 NT, down 20%), Germany (1,105,000 NT, down 21%), Taiwan (936,000 NT, down 19%), Vietnam (903,000 NT, up 420%) and China (799,000 NT, down 64%).
The estimated annualized finished steel imports for the whole year 2016 from various offshore countries are as follows:- South Korea (3,863,000 NT, down 20.4% vs 2015), Turkey (2,465,000 NT, down 12.7%), Japan (1,836,000 NT, down 18.7%), Germany (1,206,000 NT, down 20.4%) and Taiwan (1,021,000 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.