Steel imported into the USA increased in July compared to June by 0.6% according to preliminary data released by the government.

Steel imports in the first seven months of 2013 compared to the same 2012 period were down by -10.8%. “While currently in a rebound for some products, demand in most steel markets has not returned even to 2012 levels for either the domestic industry or importers. Imports might show some improvement later this year in response to improved pricing this summer, but we do not see underlying demand strengthening sufficiently enough to improve conditions for domestic or import suppliers to the market at this time,” concluded David Phelps, president of the American Institute for International Steel (AIIS).

Total Steel imports in July 2013 were 2.474M short tons compared to 2.460M stons in June 2013, a 0.6% increase, and a 10.9% decrease compared to July 2012. For the year- to - date, imports decreased from 20.409M stons in the seven months of 2012 to 18.206M stons in the same 2013 period, a 10.8% decrease. Imported semi finished products decreased by 6.7% in July 2013 compared to July 2012, from 556k stons in 2012 to 519k stons in 2013, based on preliminary reporting. For the year- to - date, imported semi finished products decreased from 4.582M stons in the first seven months of 2012 to 3.882M stons in the same 2013 period, a 15.3% decrease.

In July, Canada was the chief source of imports at 428k stons (-7.3% on June 13) followed by EU (398k ston -6.4%), Brazil (321k ston +76.2%), S Korea (263k ston +10.2%), Mexico (251k ston -30.0%) and Japan (227k stons +32.8%). China ranked 7th at 177k ston up 13.7% on June 2013 but an increase of 47.9% on 120k ston in July 2012.

On cumulative imports in 2013 to date, with the exception of Mexico (up 21.5%) and China (up 15.9%) imports from all other countries were down y-o-y.

Imports of semi products also fell -15.3% y-o-y for the Jan – July period.