The U.S. imported a total of 2,241,000 net tons of steel in November 2008, a 28% decrease vs. October 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 the total included 2,058,000 net tons of finished steel, a17% decrease vs. October final data.
While total and finished steel imports through the first eleven months of 2008 are down 5% and 4%, respectively, vs. the same period in 2007, the monthly average for finished steel imports in the most recent 3-month period (September to November 2008) is up 9% vs. the monthly average in the previous 3 months (June to August 2008).
On an annualized basis, total and finished steel imports are down 2% and 1% for the year, respectively, vs. 2007, with total annualized imports of steel projected to reach 32.4 million net tons in 2008.
Key products with a large increase in November compared to the month before include
- Cut-Length Plates, +33%
- Mechanical Tubing, +10%
- Oil Country Goods, +6%
For the year-to-date in 2008, products with significant increases vs. the same period in 2007 include Oil Country Goods (+90%), Hot Rolled Bars (+13%), and Line Pipe (+7%).
In November, the largest volume of finished imports from offshore was from China (585,000 net tons, down 20% from October), which accounted for 29% of all finished imports. While steel imports from China in the first eleven months of 2008 are down 2% compared to the same period last year, Chinese imports have been above 500,000 tons for each of the last three months. Much of this tonnage is in high-value products still receiving government export tax rebates.
Other major offshore suppliers in October include Korea (231,000 net tons, +37% vs. Oct.), Japan (144,000 net tons, +8% vs. Oct.), Germany (69,000 net tons, – 22% vs. Oct.), Turkey (68,000 net tons, – 5% vs. Oct.) and The Netherlands (58,000 net tons, – 47% vs. Oct.).
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 comprises 27 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and 138 associate and affiliate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry.