The USA imported 3.8Mt (net tons) of steel in July, including 3.05Mt (net tons) of finished steel – up 6.1% and 11.9% respectively over June 2014 figures.

According to the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) year-to-date total and finished steel imports are 24.9Mt (net tons) and 18.6Mt (net tons) respectively, which is up 37% and 30% respectively when compared with 2013.

Annualised total and finished steel imports in 2014 are estimated at 42.8Mt (net tons) and 31.9Mt (net tons), up 33% and 29% respectively when compared with 2013 figures.

The AISI claims that key finished steel products with a significant import increase in July compared to June are plates in coils (up 99%), sheets and strip (up 50%), heavy structural shapes (up 39%), line pipe (up 30%), hot rolled sheet (up 27%), hot rolled bar (up 16%) and oil country goods up 11%).

In terms of year-to-date major import increases versus the same period last year, plates in coils were up 84%, wire rods were up 83% and cold rolled sheets were up 74%. Sheets and strip galvanised hot dipped were up 58%, sheets and strip all other metallic coatings were up 54% and cut lengths plate were up 48%. Hot rolled sheets were up 43%, mechanical tubing was up 38% and heavy structural shapes were also up 38% while oil country goods were up 33%, tin plate up 21% and rebar up 13%.

The largest volumes of finished steel imports from offshore were from Asia and Europe, claims the AISI. South Korea supplied 560,000 net tons, up 22% on June 2014 figures. China exported 269,000 net tons, up 17% and Russia came in third with 203,000 net tons, up 112%. The Japanese exported 199,000 net tons, up 44% and Turkey exported 133,000 net tons, down 34%.

During the first seven months of 2014, South Korea was the biggest offshore supplier to the USA, up 54% to 3.1Mt (net tons). China was up 66% to 1.7Mt (net tons) with Japan in third place at 1.19Mt (net tons) which was up 8%. Turkey was up 37% at 1.09Mt (net tons) and Russia up a staggering 480% at 799,000 net tons.

Source: American Iron and Steel Institute.