Steel imports up 18 percent this year

Rows of ArcelorMittal coils sit ready to be loaded onto the ship Pacific Huron in 2011 before their departure from the Port of Indiana to their destination in Macedonia. Steel imports are up 17.5 percent this year.

Kyle Telechan, The Times

The United States imported 2.7 million tons of steel in November, which was down 14.6 percent compared to October but up 17.5 percent year-over-year.

Imports of finished steel products that require no further processing at U.S. service centers or domestic steel companies like those clustered at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor totaled 2.1 million tons, down 16.8 percent compared to October but up 14.2 percent compared to November 2016, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute.

Steel imports captured 25 percent of the U.S. market share in November, and have 27 percent of the market share through the end of November.

So far this year, the United States has imported 35.6 million tons of steel, a 17.3 percent jump compared to the same period in 2016, according to the AISI. That includes 27.6 million tons of finished steel, a 14.3 percent increase.

For context, domestic steelmakers have produced 88.4 million tons of steel through Dec. 23, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute.

Imports of oil country goods have skyrocketed 223 percent year-to-date, as compared to the same period in 2016. Imports of line pipe have risen by 69 percent, standard pipe 41 percent, mechanical tubing 31 percent, hot rolled bars 25 percent, sheets and strip all other metallic coatings up 21 percent, cold rolled sheets 18 percent, and sheets and strip hot dipped galvanized up 15 percent.

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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.