Steel Products Prices North America

Steel Imports Holding Strong, Reach 17-Month High in June

Written by Brett Linton

Final Census data shows that total foreign steel imports increased 16% from May to June, reaching 2.93 million tons. As stated in our preliminary import analysis, this is now the highest monthly import level of 2021, surpassing the April high. The last time monthly import levels exceeded this rate was January 2020 when 3.16 million tons of steel entered the country.

July import licenses are currently at 2.85 million tons as of Aug. 5, 3% less than June but up 13% compared to May. Total finished imports were finalized at 2.13 million tons in June, the highest level seen since January 2019 when they reached 2.46 million tons. Finished steel import licenses for July are currently at 2.02 million tons, up from 1.53 million tons just last week.

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 U.S. steel import trends. The 3MMA through final June data is 2.70 million tons, up from 2.49 million tons in May and up from 2.28 million tons in April. The lowest 3MMA level in our recent history was October 2020 at 1.36 million tons. The June 3MMA is  the highest level seen since March 2019 when 3MMA imports were 2.72 million tons. Looking at July license data, the July 3MMA is currently at 2.77 million tons, which could potentially be the highest level since October 2018’s 2.86 million ton rate.

The table below displays flat rolled product imports as well as other high-volume products, including rebar, tin plate, wire rod, structural pipe and tube, and other long products. We also provide data on categorized imports divided into semifinished, finished, flat rolled, longs, pipe and tube, and stainless products.

By Brett Linton,

Brett Linton

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