US steel imports dip in August; steel prices continue gains

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U.S. steel imports totaled an estimated 2.5 million metric tons in August, the Census Bureau reported Friday, as U.S. steel prices continue to post gains.

The August total marked a decline from 2.7 million metric tons in July.

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Steel imports slow in August but remain up in year to date

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Despite the decline in U.S. steel imports from July to August, imports in the year to date remain up from last year.

Through July, U.S. steel imports totaled 16.2 million metric tons, up from 13.7 million metric tons for the same period in 2020.

Imports of blooms, billets and slabs fell from 902,920 metric tons in July to 602,114 metric tons in August. Imports of oil country goods fell from 162,509 metric tons to 106,650 metric tons.

Meanwhile, imports of cold-rolled sheets fell from 157,524 metric tons to 147,330 metric tons.

Wire rod imports also fell from 101,768 metric tons to 79,203 metric tons.

Hot-rolled sheet imports rise

On the other side of the ledger, imports of hot-rolled sheets rose from 282,605 metric tons to 344,620 metric tons.

Imports of plates in coils rose from 128,171 metric tons to 138,018 metric tons.

Hot-dipped galvanized sheets and strips rose from 229,067 metric tons to 271,255 metric tons.

Imports from Canada, Mexico rise

By country, imports from Canada surged by 16.8% to 694,745 metric tons in August.

Meanwhile, imports from Mexico rose by 9.0% to 382,736 metric tons.

Imports from the European Union declined by 15.5% month over month to 304,332 metric tons. Furthermore, imports from Brazil declined by 27.1%.

Steel price gains

Although U.S. steel prices are not posting double-digit percentage gains — as they have at points throughout the past year — prices continue to rise, for now.

U.S. cold-rolled coil closed last week at $2,136 per short ton, or up 2.3% month over month. Hot-rolled coil closed at $1,927 per short ton, up 2.39% month over month.

Hot-dipped galvanized closed at $2,240 per short ton, up 2.56% month over month.

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