USA: December's Steel Import Market Shift

US Imports
US ImportsImage Source: SteelGuru


The American Iron and Steel Institute discloses December's steel import trends, citing a 21% estimated market share for finished steel in 2023. Despite a year-over-year drop, December saw a surge of 14.9% in permit tonnage applications, indicating a rise in steel imports. Products like oil country goods, line pipe, and tin plate showed significant increases in December, contributing to shifts in the import landscape.


The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) unveils December's steel import insights, revealing a 21% estimated market share for finished steel in 2023. While overall steel imports declined by 8.0% for the full year compared to 2022, December witnessed a notable 14.9% surge in permit tonnage applications, signaling increased steel imports.

Specific product categories experienced substantial upswings in December, notably oil country goods (up 118%), line pipe (up 82%), heavy structural shapes (up 57%), tin plate (up 42%), and hot rolled sheets (up 35%). Year-long trends also indicate rises in products like cut lengths plates, standard rails, and ingots, billets, and slabs compared to 2022.

Key countries contributed to December's steel import applications, with notable changes in tonnage from Canada, Brazil, South Korea, Mexico, and Germany. Despite fluctuations, Canada remained the largest steel supplier in 2023, followed by Mexico and Brazil.

It's essential to note that import permit data reflect tonnages requested in import licenses, potentially differing from actual import volumes. Preliminary estimates for December's actual import volumes will be available later this month.


December showcased a 21% estimated market share for finished steel in 2023, with a notable surge in permit tonnage applications despite a year-over-year decrease in overall steel imports. Significant increases in various steel product categories and varying import volumes from key countries underscore the dynamism within the steel import landscape, shaping the industry's trajectory.

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