American Iron and Steel Institute, based on preliminary Census Bureau data, reported that the US imported a total of 1.494 million net tons of steel in December 2020, including 1.340 million net tons of finished steel up 9.0% and 13.5%, respectively, vs November final data. Key finished steel products with a significant increase in imports in December compared to November are line pipe up 223%, oil country goods up 148%, plates in coils up 84%, hot rolled sheets up 36%, hot rolled bars up 15%, cold rolled sheets up 14% and tin plate up 10%. In December, the largest volumes of finished steel imports from offshore were from South Korea 222,000 net tons up 75% from November final, The Netherlands 86,000 net tons up 69%, Germany 66,000 net tons no change, Japan 56,000 net tons up 21% and Taiwan 43,000 net tons up 1%.
Full year 2020 total and finished steel imports were 22.019 million net tons and 16.139 million net tons, down 21.2% and 23.3%, respectively, vs 2019. For full year 2020, Ingots and Billets and Slabs imports came at 5.865 million net tons down 15%, Sheets & Strip Galv Hot Dipped at 2.195 million net tons down 10%, Sheets Hot Rolled 1.621 million net tons down 14%, Sheets Cold Rolled 1.304 million net tons down 23%, Oil Country Goods 1.102 million net tons down 53%, Bars Reinforcing1.081 million net tons down 2% For full year 2020, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea at 2.015 million net tons down 22% vs 2019, Japan 767,000 net tons down 38%, Germany 725,000 net tons down 31%, Taiwan 573,000 net tons down 31% and Turkey 562,000 net tons up 72%.
Finished steel import market share is estimated at 18% for full year 2020.