Updated preliminary data now shows November steel imports at 1.37 million net tons, down 9 percent from October levels, but up 9 percent over September. Recall that total steel imports in September had reached an 11-year low of 1.26 million tons. December import licenses are currently at the 1.44 million ton level, but will continue to fluctuate over the next few weeks as data is processed. Therefore, the analysis below will only focus on imports through November preliminary Census data.
Due to large month-to-month swings in semifinished imports, the chart below shows total monthly imports on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis in an attempt to more accurately display the U.S. steel import trend. The 3MMA for November is now 1.38 million tons, up from 1.36 million tons in October. The average monthly import level for 2020 is now 1.86 million tons through November preliminary Census data.
Total finished imports in November are down 3 percent from the prior month, at 1.24 million tons. Imports of semifinished products (mostly slabs) were 135,000 tons, down from 240,000 tons in October.
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