US steel imports slow in October

The US imported a total of 3,119,000 tons of steel in October 2017, including 2,493,000 tons of finished steel (unchanged and down 0.4%, respectively, vs. September final data), based on preliminary Census Bureau data. Year-to-date (YTD) through ten months of 2017, total and finished steel imports are 32,850,000 and 25,449,000 tons, up 19.4% and 15.4% respectively, vs. the same 2916 period. Annualized total and finished steel imports in 2017 would be 39.4- and 30.5-million tons, up 19.4% and 16.0% respectively, vs. 2016. Finished steel import market share was an estimated 27% in October and was estimated at 28% YTD.

Key finished steel products with significant import increases in October compared to September include wire rods (up 32%), cut lengths plates (up 27%), plates in coils (up 23%) and standard pipe (up 10%). Major products with significant YTD increases vs. the same period in 2016 include oil country goods (up 231%), line pipe (up 68%), standard pipe (up 44%), mechanical tubing (up 34%), cold rolled (up 26%), sheets and strip all other metallic coatings (up 25%), hot rolled bars (up 21%) and sheets and strip hot dipped galvanized (up 17%).

In October, the largest volumes of finished steel imports from offshore were from South Korea (372,000 tons, up 14% from September final), Germany (156,000 tons, up 2%), Taiwan (122,000 tons, up 2%), Turkey (112,000 tons, down 7%) and Brazil (89,000 tons, down 19%).

For the first ten months of 2017, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (3,328,000 tons, up 2% vs. the same period in 2016), Turkey (2,065,000 tons, down 1%), Japan (1,307,000 tons, down 17%), Germany (1,160,000 tons, up 14%) and Taiwan (1,148,000 tons, up 35%).

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