Steel Products Prices North America

March Preliminary Steel Imports at 1.75 Million Tons

Written by Brett Linton

Preliminary steel import license data was updated late last week, pegging March at 1.75 million net tons of total steel imports, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The preliminary March data shows finished imports at 1.5 million tons, up roughly 12 percent over the previous month. Nearly 230,000 tons of semi-finished product imports are expected to have been imported in March (mostly slabs), up from 150,000 tons in February. 

April import licenses collected through the 23rd rose to 2.5 million tons, with 1.4 million tons being semi-finished and 1.1 million tons being finished products; this surge in semi-finished imports is a result of the quarterly quota resets.

Note: The January, April, July, and October import figures are unusually high as a result of buyers seeking to max out quarterly quota limits on semi-finished products. For the remainder of each quarter, final semi-finished imports are significantly lower. Due to these month-to-month swings, SMU has ceased monthly import “trending” projections and now only shows unadjusted figures as reported by the Commerce Department.

The two graphics below show total steel imports through March preliminary census data. To provide the most clarity, we are only showing a two-year snapshot. To see a greater data history and utilize our interactive graphing features, you can visit our website. Contact us at if you have any questions.

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