Steel Products Prices North America

Final April Steel Imports at 2.8 Million Tons, May Licenses at 2.3 Million

Written by Brett Linton

Recently released Census data shows final April steel imports totaling 2.77 million net tons, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. This is just 1,700 tons higher than the preliminary April import figures SMU reported in late-May and up 58.4 percent over March figures.

Finished imports in April were 1.32 million tons, down 13 percent over the previous month and down 2.4 percent over February. About 1.45 million tons of semifinished products were imported in April (mostly slabs) as the quarterly quotas for those products reset (compare this to March semifinished imports of 227,000 tons and February at 151,000 tons).

May import licenses are currently at 2.27 million tons, with nearly 700,000 tons being semifinished and 1.57 million tons being finished products.

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 semifinished products. For the remainder of each quarter, final semifinished 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 three graphics below show total steel imports through May license data. To provide the most clarity, we are only showing a limited time line in each graphic. 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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