U.S. Steel Imports Down 13% in 1H 2019

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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.

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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%)

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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%)

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