The U.S. imported a total of 2,196,000 net tons of steel in September 2007 according to the latest report from the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI). The total reflects a 17% decrease vs. August final data.
The AISI report, which is based on preliminary Census Bureau data, indicates that the total included 1,876,000 net tons of finished steel, a 9% decrease vs. August final data).
While overall imports for the year-to-date (YTD) have declined as compared to the all-time-record year of 2006, total and finished steel imports YTD, on an annualized basis, remain up 8% and 11%, respectively, vs. 2005, which itself saw historically high import levels. Projecting the current YTD levels on an annualized basis, total imports of steel in 2007 would be 34.6 million net tons.
Among the products showing large increases in September 2007 compared to the prior month were
- Sheets & strips all other metallic coated, +146%
- Tin plate, +28%
- Cut-to-length plates, +11%
For the year to date, imports of pipe and tube, driven largely by China, remain at very high levels. For example, line pipe imports are currently 60% higher than in 2006.
In September, the five largest suppliers of finished steel from offshore were China (264,000 net tons, down 28% vs. August), South Korea (161,000 net tons, up 12%), Brazil (110,000 net tons, up 130%), Japan (92,000 net tons, down 41%), and India (79,000 net tons, up 14%).
“Despite modest declines in overall import levels in recent months, we are still looking at an import year in 2007 at or above the 2005 level, and a relatively high steel import penetration of 23% year-to-date,” said Andrew G. Sharkey III, AISI President and CEO.
“Efficient, market-based U.S. producers of steel and many other manufactured products remain concerned about China trade and dumped and subsidized imports,” said Sharkey. “General trends in global trade clearly indicate that America’s critical trade remedy laws need to be defended in multilateral negotiations and enhanced in domestic legislation.”