Steel Products Prices North America

Preliminary Data Shows Finished Steel Imports Up in May

Written by Brett Linton

Recently released preliminary steel import data shows May imports totaling 1.79 million net tons, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. This is down nearly 1 million tons compared to final April imports, primarily due to the quarterly reset on semifinished imports.

Taking semifinished products out of the picture, imports of finished products are up in May over the previous month; 1.49 million tons of finished imports are reported to have been imported, up nearly 13 percent or 171,000 tons over April figures.

June import licenses are currently at 1.49 million tons in total, with 1.06 million tons being finished products and nearly 435,000 tons being semifinished.

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 preliminary census 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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