Steel Products

Imports Return to Pre-Recession Levels

Written by John Packard

Based on total projected imports of 33,512,516 net tons for calendar year 2012, imports for this year will be at the highest level since the recession began. The last year imports exceeded what we are projecting based on US DOC license data through December, was 2006 when the U.S. received 45,273,023 net tons.

Based on recently released preliminary census data for the month of November along with updated license data for December we have a better idea regarding what imports will look like for each of these months. Both will be close to the moving 3-month moving average of 2.627 million net tons. November is projected to be 2,659,486 net tons and our early forecast is for December to be a little lower at 2,560,480 net tons.

What is sticking out like a sore thumb is the amount of semi-finished (see next article).

As you can see by the table above, hot rolled imports during November are slightly below both the 3-month and 12-month moving average while December projections are slightly above both the 3MMA and 12MMA.

Cold Rolled imports are above both the 3-month and 12-month moving average in November and December.

Galvanized imports for November were above the 3-month and 12-month moving average while the projected December number is, at this moment, below both.

Galvalume/Aluminized imports for both November and December are within a few thousand tons of the averages.

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