While imports of steel to the USA edged up in April they remain depressed from 2012 levels according to figures presented by the American Institute for International Steel (AIIS)

Steel imports increased 4.2% in April compared to March according to preliminary government reporting. “Imports increased in April primarily due to an increase in arrivals of semi finished slab imports for further processing by the domestic integrated industry, suggesting an anticipation of improved conditions in the US market going forward.

David Phelps, president, AIIS announced imports of rebars posted a decline with imports in the first four months of 2013 posting a decline of 11.7 percent for the year. “Year- to-date imports remain weak, which reflects the slow start to the year experienced by all suppliers of steel to the US market. With inventory levels currently low and demand in several sectors strong, such as autos and strong consumption in oil and gas related products, there is increasing optimism that the market is on the mend as we move to the mid-point in the second quarter,” concluded Phelps.

Total Steel imports in April 2013 were 2.679M stons compared to 2.570Mst in March, a 4.2% increase, but a 14.8% decrease compared to April 2012. For the year- to - date, imports decreased from 11.748M stons in the first four months of 2012 to 10.374Mst in the same period 2013, an 11.7% decrease. The data show that imported semifinished products decreased by 10.3% in April 2013 compared to a year earlier, from 661kst in 2012 to 593kston in 2013, based on preliminary reporting. For the year- to - date period, imported semifinished products decreased from 2.759Mstons in the first four months of 2012 to 2.197Mstons in the same period 2013, a 20.4% decrease.

In the first four months of 2013, Canada has proved to be the largest exporter of steel to USA, followed by the UE, Brazil and S Korea. China ranks 8th exporting 555kst byt this was up 25.8% on the same period 2012.