The USA imported 4Mt (net tons) of steel in May, including 2.9Mt of finished steel – up 7.4% and 6.4% respectively when compared with April.

Year-to-date total and finished steel imports were 17.4Mt and 12.8Mt (net tons) respectively – up 32% and 23% respectively on 2013 figures.

The annualised total and finished steel imports in 2014 would be 42Mt and 30.8Mt (net tons), which is up 31% and 24% respectively when compared with the previous year.

Imports of oil country tubular goods (OCTG) were up 55% in May, when compared to April. Heavy structural shapes were up 44%, tin plate 39%, standard pipe 22% and line pipe also 22%. Hot rolled sheets and sheets and galvanised strip were up 21% and 21% respectively.

Major products with significant year-to-date import increases versus the same period last year include wire rods (96%), plates in coils (76%), cold-rolled sheets (56%), sheets and strip all other metallic coatings (47%), sheets and strip galvanised hot dipped (40%), hot rolled sheets (39%), mechanical tubing (35%), oil country goods (26%), rebar (24%), cut length plates (up 24%) and heavy structural shapes (20%).

South Korea exported 584Kt (net tons) to the USA, up 45% compared with April 2014, closely followed by China who exported 303Kt (net tons), down 27%. Turkey exported 149kt, up 5% and Japan exported 145Kt, down 31%. Lastly, Taiwan exported 106kt, up 42%.

For the five months from January to May 2014, South Korea was the largest offshore supplier of steel to the USA, supplying 2.1Mt (net tons), up 42%. China was in second place with 1.2Mt, up 73% and Japan and Turkey followed with 852kt, up 3%, and 760kt, up 19% respectively. Russia exported 501Mt, up a staggering 324%.

All the above figures are net tons.

Source: American Iron and Steel Institute