AISI: US Preliminary Steel Imports Jump 12% in May

Based on preliminary Census Bureau data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported today that the U.S. imported a total of 2,785,771 net tons (NT) of steel in May 2016, including 2,076,639 net tons (NT) of finished steel (up 12.2% and 1.8%, respectively, vs. April final data).

Year-to-date total and finished steel imports are 12,794,524 and 10,544,102 net tons (NT), respectively, down 31% each, vs. the same period in 2015. Finished steel import market share was estimated at 23% in May and at 24% during the initial five-month period of the year.

Key finished steel products with a significant import increase in May this year when compared to April are tin plate (up 75%), reinforcing bars (up 41%), heavy structural shapes (up 32%), hot rolled sheets (up 18%) and oil country goods (up 16%).

The preliminary imports of tin plates totaled 75,248 NT in May, significantly higher by 75.4% when compared with the final imports of 42,895 NT in April. Ingots, Billets and Slab imports totaled 705,933 NT in May, surging higher by 59.9% when matched with 441,348 NT in April. The other product category that witnessed considerable jump in import volume was reinforcing bar. The imports were up by 41.3% month-on-month from 106,001 NT in April to 149,781 NT in May this year.

On the other hand, the imports of Line Pipes witnessed sharp decline over the month in May 2016. The imports dropped by 42.4% from 159,792 NT in April to 92,020 NT in May. Hot rolled bars too witnessed 25.5% decline in import volume over the previous month. The imports totaled 87,637 NT in May this year as compared with the imports of 117,558 NT during the previous month. The imports of standard pipes dropped by nearly 7% from 79,209 NT to 73,768 NT.

The key finished steel imports during the five-month period from January to May this year were Ingots, Billets and Slabs (2,235,050 NT), Hot Rolled Sheets (1,282,676 NT) and Sheets and Strip Galvanized Hot Dipped (1,174,161 NT).

In May, the largest exporters of finished steel to the US were South Korea (352,000 NT, up 3.5% from April final), Turkey (147,000 NT, up 20%), Germany (125,000 NT, up 41.3%), Japan (118,000 NT, down 15.4%), Brazil (95,000 NT, up 101.2%), Vietnam (75,000 NT, up 50.9%) and China (73,000 NT, up 7.1%).

For first five months of 2016, the largest overseas suppliers of finished steel to the US were South Korea (1,589,000 NT, down 42.1%), Turkey (999,000 NT, down 31%), Japan (709,000 NT, down 32.3%), Germany (487,000 NT, down 27.8%), Brazil (427,000 NT, down 30.2%), China (384,000 NT, down 71.2%) and Vietnam (314,000 NT, up 309.7%).

The estimated annualized finished steel imports for the whole year 2016 from various offshore countries are as follows:- South Korea (3,814,000 NT, down 21.4% vs 2015), Turkey (2,397,000 NT, down 15.1), Japan (1,703,000 NT, down 24.6%), Germany (1,169,000 NT, down 22.9%) and Brazil (1,024,000 NT, down 28.8%).

AISI serves as the voice of the North American steel industry in the public policy arena and advances the case for steel in the marketplace as the preferred material of choice. AISI also plays a lead role in the development and application of new steels and steelmaking technology. AISI is comprised of 19 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and approximately 125 associate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry.

Source: Hellenic Shipping News