The Specialty Steel Industry of North America (SSINA) has released statistical data on imports, U.S. consumption, and import penetration for the first quarter of 2012. The data represents U.S. consumption, imports and import penetration for YTD March 2012 compared to the same 2011 three-month period.
Imports of stainless steel sheet/strip in YTD March 2012 were 84,919 tons, a 16.4% decrease compared to YTD March 2011. U.S. consumption was 410,414 tons, an 8.9% decrease, while three-month import pentration was 20.7%, a 1.9% decrease from 2011.
Stainless steel plate imports of 58,038 tons in the first quarter were up 34.0% year-on-year. Consumption was 24.2% higher at 116,491 tons as import penetration increased by 3.6 percentage points to 49.8%.
YTD imports of stainless steel bar were up 13.4% year-on-year to 39,638 tons. Consumption rose 4.4% to 70,464 tons. Import penetration rose 4.5 percentage points to 56.3%.
Stainlelss steel rod imports were up 8.0% year-on-year to 7,565 tons while consumption fell 8.8% to 17,820 tons; import penetration was at 42.5%, a 6.7 percentage point increase from the 2011 period.
Imports of stainless steel wire fell 4.8% to 11,143 tons as consumption also fell by 4.8% to 14,587 tons. Import penetration remained the same compared to last year at 76.4%.
Imports of total stainless steel (comprising the foregoing product lines) in YTD March 2012 were 201,304 tons, a 1.4% increase compared to the same 2011 period; U.S. consumption of 629,775 tons in the 2012 period was 2.6% lower year-on-year; import penetration was 1.3 percentage points higher at 32.0%.
Imports of alloy tool steel reached 35,997 tons in the period - a jump of 32.9% year-on-year.
Electrical steel imports were 6.7% higher year-on-year at 31,855 tons in the first quarter of 2012.
Consumption and import penetration statistics are not available for alloy tool steel and electrical steel.