The American Institute for International Steel claims that steel imports declined by 16.7% in November when compared with October figures.

Richard Chriss, AIIS’s recently appointed executive director, claimed that the decline in steel imports was led by declines in arrivals of semi-finished steel products used by the domestic industry to augment their hot end capacity and OCTG.

According to Chriss, “Given the overall subdued condition of the steel market in late 2013, end-of-year arrivals are sometimes affected by end-of-year inventory taxes due at the state level. Such taxes would clearly have an impact on OCTG arrivals, which are also affected by pending trade cases.”

Comparing 11 months of 2013 with the previous year reveals a drop of 4.4%, according to data supplied by the US Government. However, Chriss believes that there are signs that in early 2014 the steel market is beginning ‘a more normal seasonal upswing’ than experienced in early 2013.

Total imports for November 2013 were 2.583Mt compared with 3.101Mt the previous month. That amounts to a 16.7% decrease and a 4.9% decrease when compared with November 2012.

For the year-to-date period, claims the AIIS, imports decreased from 31.009Mt in the first 11 months of 2012 to 29.635Mt for the same period in 2013 (a decrease of 4.4%).

Imported semi-finished products increased by 0.6% in November 2013 compared with the same period in 2012 – from 674kt in 2012 to 678kt last year.

For the year-to-date period, imported semi-finished products decreased from 6.963Mt in the first 11 months of 2012 to 6.703Mt for the same period in 2013 – a 3.7% decrease.