Steel Products Prices North America

Final April Steel Imports Ease 12%, 3MMA Remains Steady

Written by Brett Linton

Final Census data shows that steel imports in April totaled 2.73 million net tons, falling 12% from March’s 26-month high of 3.09 million tons. May import licenses have risen from our late-May report to 2.61 million tons, 4% less than April levels and 16% lower than the March high.

US Steel Import Trend

Total finished steel imports were 2.29 million tons in April, down 9% from the 46-month high seen one month prior. License data shows May finished steel imports are now in line with April at 2.30 million tons.

US Steel Import Trend

Due to large month-to-month swings in semifinished imports, the chart below shows total imports on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis in an attempt to more accurately display trends. Through final April figures, the 3MMA is at a six-month low of 2.73 million tons. Although down from recent months, current import levels remain strong compared to recent years: 2021 averaged 2.63 million tons per month, 2020 averaged 1.84 million tons per month, 2019 averaged 2.32 million tons per month. In January 2022 the 3MMA had reached a 42-month high of 2.94 million tons. Recall that the lowest 3MMA level in SMU’s recent history was October 2020, at 1.36 million tons. The latest May license data suggests that the 3MMA will rise to 2.81 million tons.

US Steel Import Trend

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 imports divided into semifinished, finished, flat rolled, longs, pipe and tube, and stainless products.

US Steel Import Trend Table

The two charts below show monthly imports grouped by product category: flat-rolled imports and pipe and tube imports. April flat rolled-imports receded to 1.11 million tons, down 11% from the month prior. May licenses show a further decline of 7%, with 1.03 million tons of flat-rolled imports coming into the country. Pipe and tube imports were 485,000 tons in April, down 6% from the 2.5-year high seen in March. May pipe and tube import licenses are stable at 486,000 tons.

US Steel Import Trend

US Steel Import Trend

We have an interactive graphing tool available on our website here. Readers can explore historical import data, in total and by product. If you need assistance logging into or navigating the website, contact us at

By Brett Linton,

Brett Linton

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