Steel Products Prices North America

Steel Imports Down 20 Percent for the Year

Written by Tim Triplett

Steel imports declined by more than 20 percent in the first nine months of 2020, including a nearly 27 percent drop in finished steel imports, reports the American Iron and Steel Institute. The estimated finished steel import market share for the year to date is 18 percent, down from 19 percent in full-year 2019.

Including September SIMA import permits, steel imports totaled 17.9 million tons for the year through last month, a decline of 20.7 percent. That figure includes 12.3 million tons of finished steel imports, a decline of 26.8 percent compared with the same period in 2019.

Products that have seen significant increases in imports this year compared with 2019 include tin free steel, up 24 percent, and light shapes bars, up 18 percent. The largest offshore suppliers through the first nine months were: South Korea (1,491,000 tons, down 27 percent); Japan (581,000 tons, down 43 percent); and Germany (528,000 tons, down 37 percent), reports AISI.

The relatively low levels of imports this year have helped to tighten supplies and contributed to higher steel prices.

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