Based on preliminary Census Bureau data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported that the U.S. imported a total of 2,945,000 tons of steel in May, including 2,323,000 tons of finished steel (down 6% each, respectively, from April final data). The 2.3 million tons of finished steel imports in May was the second highest monthly total in 2012, below only the April tonnage.
Annualized total and finished steel imports in 2012 would be 35.3 and 27.1 million tons, respectively, each up 24% vs. 2011. Finished steel import market share in May and year-to-date were 24% each, respectively.
Key finished steel products with significant import increases in May 2012 compared to April include:
· Cold rolled sheets (up 38%)
· Standard pipe (up 28%)
· Oil country goods (up 25%)
· Hot rolled bars (up 14%)
· Mechanical tubing (up 11%)
Major products with significant YTD import increases vs. the same period last year include:
· Rebar (up 60%)
· Cut-length plate (up 57%)
· Sheets and strip, all other metallic coatings (up 51%)
· Line pipe (up 47%)
· Hot dip galvanized sheets and strip (up 45%)
In May, the largest volumes of finished steel imports from offshore were from South Korea (321,000 tons, up 4%), Japan (186,000 tons, up 5%), Turkey (128,000 tons, down 25%), China (155,000 tons, up 9%) and Germany (104,000 tons, up 8%).
For the first 5 months of 2012, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (1,554,000 tons, up 31%), Japan (850,000 tons, up 34%) and Turkey (812,000 tons, up 124%).