Source: Scrap Monster
The preliminary data released by the US Census Bureau suggests 18% surge in US steel imports during the first eleven months of the current year. However, the total steel imports by the country declined sharply by nearly 15% during November. Also, finished steel imports were down by 17% during the month.
The US imported a total of 2,718,020 net tons (NT) of steel during the month, out of which finished steel totaled 2,126,094 NT. When matched with October 2017 final data, the imports of total and finished steel were down significantly by 14.6% and 16.8% respectively.
Going by the current trend, the annualized total and finished steel imports by the US in 2017 is expected to total 38.9 million NT and 30.1 million NT, up by nearly 18% and 15% respectively.
Most of the finished steel products reported decline in import volumes during November 2017. The only products to report jump in import volumes were Tin Plates and Hot Rolled bars. The imports of Tin Plates totaled 86,309 tons, marginally higher by 3.1% when matched with the imports of 83,674 tons in October. Hot Rolled bar imports were up slightly by 1.4% to total 133,541 tons. On year-on-year basis, the imports of Oil Country Goods reported the biggest jump, surging higher by 223.3%. Also, Line Pipe (68.6%) and Standard Pipe (41.4%) reported year-on-year increase in import volumes.
Several finished steel products recorded substantial decline in imports. Heavy Structural Shapes topped the list with nearly 41.4% decline in import volume upon comparison with October final imports. The imports dropped from 61,782 tons to 36,179 tons. The imports of Wire Rods and Line Pipe too were down by 39.5% and 35.4% respectively. Also, Cold Rolled Sheet import plunged by 27.5% during November this year. The other products that reported drop in import volumes were Mechanical Tubing (-25.2%), Reinforcing Bars (-24.6%) and Oil Country Goods (-24.4%).
The largest supplier of finished steel products to the US during November this year was South Korea. The imports from South Korea have dropped significantly by almost 47% from the previous month to total 210,000 NT. In second place was Germany with 141,000 NT. The imports from that country have declined by nearly 10% upon comparison with October 2017. The other major exporters of finished steel to the US were Japan, the Netherlands and Brazil.
Through the opening eleven months of 2017, the US imported 35.632 Million NT of steel. The finished steel imports totaled 27.637 Million NT. The cumulative imports of total and finished steel were up by 17.5% and 14.3% respectively. The finished steel import market share stood at 27% during the year-to-date period.
South Korea continued to remain as the top supplier of finished steel to the US during the initial eleven month period of 2017. The imports from that country totaled 3,558,000 NT, which is marginally up by 0.4% when compared with the corresponding period last year. The other key suppliers were Turkey, Japan, Germany and Taiwan.