Steel Products

AIIS: Steel Imports Jump 12.7% in April

Written by Sandy Williams

Steel imports increased 12.7 percent from March to April to 3.76 million net tons and were 12.1 percent higher than a year ago, according to the latest data from the American Institute for International Steel.

The U.S. imported 705,000 net tons from Canada, up 9.2 percent from March and more than one-third higher than April 2017. Imports from the European Union increased by more than one-fifth from March to 478,000 net tons, but were almost 14 percent lower year-over-year. Imports from South Korea jumped 50 percent from the previous month and year to 475,000 net tons, while imports of 467,000 tons from Russia increased 60.5 percent from March and 11.2 percent from a year ago.

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Imports were 1.2 percent higher in the first four months of 2018 than they were during the same time in 2017, totaling 12.45 million net tons for the period. The 2.44 million net tons of steel from Canada were up 14.5 percent, tonnage from the EU increased 9.4 percent to 1.61 million net tons, Brazil steel increased 1.3 percent to 1.51 million tons, and imports from South Korea jumped 17.3 percent to 1.42 million net tons.

Commented AIIS regarding April’s data: “The increases in imports are hardly surprising, given President Trump’s March announcement of 25 percent tariffs on steel, with temporary exemptions for Canada, the European Union and certain others. Businesses were stocking up as much as they could. With the exemptions expiring on June 1, the numbers will probably be similar in May, followed by a sharp drop-off. After that will likely come a scaling back of capital expenditures, price increases for consumers and a slowdown of what had the potential to be the strongest economic growth in 20 years.”

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