Steel Products Prices North America

Steel Imports Decline by 20 Percent in First Half

Written by Tim Triplett

Steel imports into the United States declined by more than 20 percent in the first half of 2020, reported the American Iron and Steel Institute, based on preliminary Census Bureau data. Through the first six months of this year, total steel imports declined by 20.8 percent to 12.4 million tons, while finished steel imports declined by 26.2 percent to 8.6 million tons, versus the same period in 2019 when the coronavirus was not an issue. Finished steel imports accounted for a 19 percent share of the market in the first half.

In June, the U.S. imported a total of 1.39 million tons, down 23 percent, including 1.31 million tons of finished steel, down 12.7 percent, compared with the prior month. Key finished steel products showing a significant increase in imports in June compared to May were line pipe (up 30 percent) and sheets and strip hot dipped galvanized (up 23 percent). 

For the first six months of 2020, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea at 1.12 million tons, down 23 percent; Japan at 434,000 tons, down 40 percent; Germany at 377,000 tons, down 39 percent; Taiwan at 333,000 tons, down 36 percent; and Turkey at 323,000 tons, up 66 percent.

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