Steel imports have near-record 28 percent of market share

The Federal Caribou brought steel products to the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor in 2016. Steel imports' market share is 28 percent so far this year.

Steel imports have grabbed a near-record 28 percent of the U.S. market share so far this year, including an estimated 27 percent in October, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute.

The United States imported 3.1 tons of steel in October, which was down 0.4 percent as compared to September but unchanged year-over-year.

Through the first 10 months of the year, the U.S. imported 32.8 million tons of steel, up 19.4 percent as compared to the same period in 2016, according to the AISI. Imports of finished steel products, which would require no further processing at U.S. facilities such as all the steel companies at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor, are up 15.4 percent to 25.4 million tons this year.

So far this year, imports of oil country goods have risen by 231 percent, line pipe by 68 percent, standard pipe by 44 percent, mechanical tubing by 34 percent, cold rolled by 26 percent, sheets and strip all other metallic coatings by 25 percent, hot rolled bars by 21 percent and sheets and strip hot dipped galvanized by 17 percent.

In October, imports of wire rods rose 32 percent, cut length plates 27 percent, plates in coils 23 percent, and standard pipe 10 percent.

Most of the imports this year have come from South Korea, Turkey, Japan, Germany and Taiwan. South Korean steelmakers, who mainly serve South Korean auto plants in the United States, shipped over 3.3 million tons of steel, up 2 percent over the same period in 2016.

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Business reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.