The USA imported a total of 2.3Mt of steel during the month of December 2015, according to figures released by the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI).

The figures, based on US Census Bureau date include 2.0Mt (net tons) of finished steel (down 5.3% and up 3.2% respectively when compared with November 2015 final data.

Full year total and finished steel imports were 38.7Mt and 31.4Mt respectively (net tons) and this was down 13% and 7% respectively when compared to 2014.

The finished steel import market share was an estimated 26% in December and is estimated at 29% for the full year.

Key finished steel products with a significant import increase in December compared to November are: wire rod (up 77%); tin plate (up 71%); cut length plates (up 65%); heavy structural shapes (up 46%); hot rolled bar (up 20%); and cold rolled sheet (up 19%). Major products with significant import increases in 2015 versus 2014 include rebar (up 38%) and standard pipe (up 13%).

The largest volumes of finished steel imports into the USA in December 2015 (net tons) came from South Korea (235kt – down 25%); Turkey (167kt – up 8%); Japan (144kt – down 13%); China (135kt – up 111%) and Germany (122kt – up 42%).

The figures for the whole year (net tons) were: South Korea (4.8Mt – down 11%); Turkey 2.8Mt – up 28%); China (2.3Mt – down 25%); Japan (2.2Mt – up 7%); and Germany (1.5Mt – up 19%).