Based on preliminary Census Bureau data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported that the U.S. imported a total of 2,897,000 net tons (NT) of steel in June 2021, including 2,018,000 net tons (NT) of finished steel (up 14.8% and 8.7%, respectively, vs. May final data). Through the first six months of 2021, total and finished steel imports are 14,688,000 and 9,995,000 net tons (NT), up 18.5% and 15.6%, respectively, vs. the same period in 2020. Annualized total and finished steel imports in 2021 would be 29.4 and 20.0 million NT, up 33.4% and 23.9%, respectively, vs. 2020. Finished steel import market share was an estimated 21% in June and is estimated at 19% over the first six months of 2021.
Key finished steel products with a significant increase in imports in June compared to May are hot rolled sheets (up 48%), heavy structural shapes (up 38%), oil country goods (up 35%), line pipe (up 30%), wire rods (up 21%), cold rolled sheets (up 19%), cut lengths plates (up 17%), plates in coils (up 13%), reinforcing bars (up 12%) and hot rolled bars (up 11%). Products with a significant year-to-date (YTD) increase vs. the same period in 2020 were hot rolled sheets (up 63%), plates in coils (up 41%), cut lengths plates (up 35%), sheets and strip all other metallic coatings (up 31%), wire rods (up 26%), wire drawn (up 22%), tin plate (up 18%), hot rolled bars (up 13%) and sheets and strip galvanized hot dipped (up 12%).
In June, the largest volumes of finished steel imports from offshore were from South Korea (274,000 NT, up 45% from May final), Japan (117,000 NT, up 22%), Turkey (98,000 NT, up 46%), Germany (95,000 NT, down 2%) and Taiwan (84,000 NT, up 1%). For the first six months of 2021, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (1,331,000 NT, up 18% vs. the same period in 2020), Japan (521,000 NT, up 20%), Turkey (429,000 NT, up 33%), Germany (410,000 NT, up 9%) and Taiwan (357,000 NT, up 7%). Below are charts on estimated steel import market share in recent months and on finished steel imports from offshore by country.
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