Steel Imports Increase 29% in October

Highest monthly total import figure since February

The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported on Nov. 25 that the U.S. imported a total of 1,560,000 net tons (NT) of steel in October 2009, including 1,177,000 NT of finished steel (up 29% and 15%, respectively, vs. September final data).

This was the highest monthly total import figure since February.

Annualized total and finished steel imports in 2009 would be 16.0 and 14.4 million NT, respectively, down 50 and 45% vs. 2008. Finished steel import market share was an estimated 18% in October and is an estimated 22% year-to-date (YTD) through ten months.

Key finished steel products with increases in October 2009 compared to September include reinforcing bars (105%), wire rods (55%), hot rolled bars (42%) line pipe (35%) and oil country goods (29%).

In October, the largest volumes of finished steel imports from offshore were from South Korea (102,000 NT, up 59%), Japan (91,000 NT, up 76%), Turkey (69,000 NT, up 509%), The Netherlands (63,000 NT, up 170%) and India (52,000 NT, up 32%). Based on the first 10 months of 2009, finished steel imports from China would annualize at 1.6 million NT, 66% less than in 2008 but more than any other offshore supplier.

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