U.S. Steel Imports Plunged 12% in 2018

Author:Suny Group

The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) today reported that the total steel imports by the country were down by 11.5% in 2018. Meantime, the finished steel imports too dropped by 13.1% during the previous year. This is based on the latest trade statistics published by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The U.S. imported a total of 33.731 million net tons (NT) of steel in 2018. The finished steel imports by the country totaled 25.694 million NT. Among various product categories, only Hot Rolled Sheets and Plates in Coils registered higher import volume in 2018, compared with the year before, the imports of which were up by 22.2% and 14.7% respectively. The imports of Heavy Structural Shapes declined the most during the previous year, falling by 33.8% year-on-year. The other key finished steel products to witness significant decline in imports were Wire Rods (-27.0%), Reinforcing Bars (-25.4%).

The largest steel suppliers to the U.S. in 2018 were South Korea, Japan, Germany, Turkey and Vietnam in that order. All the top five offshore suppliers except Vietnam reported decline in shipped volume of steel to the U.S.

The total and finished steel imports by the U.S. in December 2018 totaled 1.898 million NT and 1.679 million NT respectively. From Nov ’18, the total and finished steel imports by the country were down by 20.4% and 12.6%.

The key finished steel products with notable increase in import volumes were Heavy Structural Shapes (+19.8%) and Line Pipes (+12.1%). On the other hand, Ingots and Billets and Slabs reported huge decline in imports by over 53% year-on-year.