USA: Steel Import Trends Unveiled

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Synopsis

The American Iron and Steel Institute's report based on preliminary Census Bureau data reveals a mixed scenario for steel imports in October 2023. While the total steel imports dropped marginally by 0.3%, finished steel surged by 16.2% compared to September. Year-to-date figures, however, show a decline of 9.8% in total steel and 14.2% in finished steel imports versus 2022.

Article

The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) released preliminary data based on Census Bureau findings, indicating nuanced trends in U.S. steel imports for October 2023. Total steel imports amounted to 2,182,000 metric tons, a marginal 0.3% decline from September. In contrast, finished steel imports surged by 16.2% to 1,837,000 metric tons during the same period.

Year-to-date comparisons against 2022 portray a decrease in total steel imports by 9.8% and finished steel imports by 14.2%. The 12-month analysis from November 2022 to October 2023 reveals a decline of 12.9% and 15.4% in total and finished steel imports, respectively, compared to the preceding 12 months.

Key products witnessing substantial import spikes in October versus September include tin plate (up 124%), wire rods (up 81%), heavy structural shapes (up 76%), hot rolled bars (up 45%), and reinforcing bars (up 45%). Over the 12-month period, cut lengths plates (up 18%) and oil country goods (up 13%) exhibited significant increases compared to the prior year.

The largest steel suppliers in October were Canada, Mexico, South Korea, Japan, and Germany. Canada contributed 557,000 metric tons, Mexico 309,000 metric tons (down 14% from September), while Japan exhibited a substantial increase of 102% to 134,000 metric tons. Yearly comparisons depict varying trends among major suppliers, with Brazil and Japan showing contrasting figures.

Conclusion

The AISI's initial findings display a nuanced scenario for U.S. steel imports in October 2023. While overall imports witnessed a slight decline, finished steel surged significantly. Year-to-date comparisons against 2022 showcase a broader decrease in steel imports, with specific steel products showing substantial import increases and decreases.

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