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 3,314,607 net tons (NT) of steel in April 2017, including 2,495,920 net tons (NT) of finished steel (down 3.1% and 1.7% respectively, vs. March final data).
Year-to-date total and finished steel imports have totaled 12,269,703 and 9,443,929 net tons (NT), considerably up by 11.5% and 7.6% respectively, vs. the corresponding four-month period in 2016. Finished steel import market share was estimated at 27% in April and at 26% during the initial four-month period of the year.
Key finished steel products with a significant import increase in April this year when compared to March are Oil Country Goods (up 30%), Heavy Structural Shapes (up 23%), Sheets and Strip Hot Dipped Galvanized (up 23%), Hot Rolled Bars (up 20%), Sheets and Strip All Other Metallic Coatings (up 15%) and Mechanical Tubing (up 14%).
The preliminary imports of Oil Country Goods totaled 343,039 NT in April, significantly higher by 29.7% when compared with the final imports of 264,454 NT in March. Heavy Structural Shapes imports totaled 97,009 NT in April, higher by 23% when matched with 78,879 NT in March. The other product category that witnessed considerable jump in import volume was Sheets and Strip Hot Dipped Galvanized. The imports were up by 22.8% month-on-month from 268,136 NT in March to 329,252 NT in April this year.
On the other hand, the imports of Reinforcing Bars witnessed sharp decline over the month in April 2017. The imports dropped by 68.6% from 244,460 NT in March to 76,826 NT in April. Tin Plates too witnessed 33.2% decline in import volume over the previous month. The imports totaled 60,245 NT in April this year as compared with the imports of 90,180 NT during the prior month. The imports of Line Pipes have declined by nearly 23.9% from 185,670 NT to 141,220 NT.
The key finished steel imports during the initial four-month period from January to April this year were Ingots, Billets and Slabs (2,813,670 NT), Sheets and Strip Galvanized Hot Dipped (1,166,738 NT) and Oil Country Goods (995,038 NT).
In April, the largest exporters of finished steel to the US were South Korea (320,000 NT, up 1% from March final), Turkey (183,000 NT, down 39%), Japan (136,000 NT, up 1%), Russia (133,000 NT, up 224%) and Taiwan (118,000 NT, up 30%).
For first four months of 2017, the largest overseas suppliers of finished steel to the US were South Korea (1,209,000 NT, down 2% vs same period in 2016), Turkey (984,000 NT, up 16%), Japan (517,000 NT, down 13%), Taiwan (424,000 NT, up 90%) and Germany (339,000 NT, down 6%).
The estimated annualized finished steel imports for the whole year 2017 from various offshore countries are as follows:- South Korea (3,628,000 NT, down 4.8% vs 2016), Turkey (2,951,000 NT, up 22.2%), Japan (1,551,000 NT, down 13.7%), Taiwan (1,271,000 NT, up 17.3%) and Germany (1,018,000 NT, down 14.6%).
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.