The U.S. imported a total of 1,553,000 net tons of steel in February 2009, a 34% decrease vs. January final data, according to the latest report from the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI).
The report, which is based on preliminary Census Bureau data, shows that total imports included 1,443,000 net tons of finished steel, down 33% vs. January final data.
On an annualized basis, total steel imports are down 26% vs. 2008, while finished steel imports are down 17%. Annualizing total imports of steel would result in 21.6 million tons for the full year 2009. Finished steel import market share was an estimated 29% in February, just below the 32% average for the 4th quarter of 2008.
Key products with increases in February 2009 compared to January include
- Electrical Sheet and Strip, +42%
- Cold finished Bars, +22%
- Plates in Coils, +14%
- Hot Rolled Sheets, +9%
In February, the largest volume of finished imports from offshore was from China (268,000 net tons, down 39% from January), representing 19% of all finished imports. Based on the February data, finished steel imports from China in 2009 would annualize at 4.2 million net tons.
Other major offshore suppliers in February were Korea (139,000 net tons, down 47% from January), Japan (99,000 net tons, down 33%), India (75,000 net tons, down 7%), Turkey (67,000 net tons, down 40%) and Brazil (58,000 net tons, up 39%).
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. The Institute comprises 24 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and 138 associate and affiliate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry.