gui yong nian/Adobe Stock
The U.S. imported 13% less steel in the first half of 2019 compared with the first half of 2018, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported recently.
Through the first six months of the year, U.S. total steel imports reached 15.62 million net tons, down 12.7% on a year-over-year basis. Meanwhile, finished steel imports reached 11.68 million net tons, down 16.7% year over year.
Total steel imports in June reached 2.02 million tons, down 2.5% from the May total. June finished steel imports reached 1.71 million net tons, down 8.3% from May.
Finished steel import market share hit 20%, continuing the general flatlining of the figure since market share spiked at 25% in January. Estimated import market share for the first six months of the year is 21%.
By product type, several products experienced big import increases in May compared with April: sheets and strip all other metallic coatings (up 100%); heavy structural shapes (up 98%); reinforcing bars (up 56%); hot rolled bars (up 17%); and standard pipe (up 15%).
In addition, line pipe imports in the year to date increased 11% compared with the same period in 2018.
South Korea led the way in terms of offshore exports to the U.S.
Offshore imports came in at:
- South Korea (163,000 NT, down 44% from May)
- Japan (112,000 NT, down 9%)
- Germany (100,000 NT, up 56%)
- Taiwan (86,000 NT, up 7%)
- Vietnam (59,000 NT, down 3%)
Import totals for the first six months of the year were:
- South Korea (1.45 million NT, down 17% vs. the same period in 2018)
- Japan (723,000 NT, down 2%)
- Germany (617,000 NT, down 7%)
- Taiwan (522,000 NT, down 7%)
- Vietnam (427,000 NT, down 16%)