Value of U.S. Imports of Steel Hits $2.7 Billion in October

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Pavel Ignatov/Adobe Stock

According to preliminary U.S. Census Bureau data released Tuesday, U.S. imports of steel in October hit 3.0 million metric tons, at a value of $2.7 billion.

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The October total marks an increase from the previous month, when the U.S imported 2.0 million metric tons at a value of $2.o billion. However, according to an American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) report Tuesday, steel imports through the first 10 months of the year are down 11% compared with the same time frame in 2017. Finished steel import market share for the year to date reached 21%.

Source: American Iron and Steel Institute

The increase in October imports came mostly in the form of blooms, billets and slabs, while decreases were seen in heavy structural shapes, reinforcing bars, and sheets and strips.

Imports of blooms, billets and slabs surged last month, reaching 1,154,364 tons, up from the September final of 359,265 tons and the October 2017 final of 566,294 tons.

By country, import increases were seen from Brazil, while decreases were seen in imports from Turkey, Taiwan and Thailand.

Imports from Brazil hit 849,767 tons in October, up from 104,722 tons in September and 324,711 tons in October 2017.

Imports from Turkey continue to plummet, dropping from 120,948 tons in September to 61,472 tons last month. The October total was also down significantly on a year-over-year basis, as the U.S. imported 101,863 tons from Turkey in October 2017. (Back in August, MetalMiner’s Stuart Burns delved into the toll U.S. tariffs have taken on Turkey’s steel sector.)

Through the first nine months of the year, the U.S. has imported 883,054 tons from Turkey, down from the just over 1.76 million tons during the same period in 2017.

In the year through the end of September, the U.S. imported 23.7 million metric tons, down from 26.9 million metric tons through the January-September 2017 period.

Total imports from Canada and Mexico also increased in October from the previous month, hitting 739,346 tons, up from the September final total of 638,543 tons. However, the October import total fell from the October 2017 final total of 743,537 tons.

As we have noted here previously, Canada and Mexico continue to express the hope that the U.S. will remove its tariffs on steel and aluminum vis-a-vis the two countries as part of a finalized United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

Canada and Mexico’s temporary exemptions from the U.S.’s Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum were allowed to expire June 1.

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Meanwhile, steel imports from the European Union hit 143,491 tons in October, according to the preliminary data. The total marked a drop from the previous month (145,701 tons), but an increase from October 2017 (138,657 tons).

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