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Steel imports fall 15.4 percent in November

Steel coils are shown stored at the Thyssenkrupp steel factory in Duisburg, Germany. Steel imports fell 15.4 percent in November.

Steel import permit applications fell 15.4 percent in November, according to the U.S. Commerce Department’s latest Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis data.

The United States received steel import permit applications of 2.54 million tons in November, which was down 15.4 percent from the 3 million permit tons in October and down 22.1 percent down from the October preliminary imports total of 3.2 million tons, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute.

That included 1.9 million tons of finished steel products that would require no further processing at service centers in the United States, a 3.6 percent decline compared to October, according to the Washington, D.C.-based AISI.

So far this year, steel import permits total 31.9 million tons, a 10.4 percent decline as compared to the first 11 months of 2017. That included 24 million tons of finished steel products, a 13.3 percent decline as compared to the same 11-month period in 2017.

Imports have grabbed 23 percent of the U.S. market share so far this year, including 20 percent in November, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute.

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In November, imports of electrolytic galvanized sheets and strip skyrocketed by 224 percent, wire rods by 86 percent, heavy structural shapes by 62 percent, tin free steel by 34 percent, mechanical tubing by 14 percent, and sheets and strip all other metallic coatings by 14 percent.

So far this year, imports of hot-rolled sheets have shot up by 21 percent as compared to the first 11 months in 2017, while imports of plates in coils are up 15 percent year-over-year, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute.

In November, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea, Japan, Germany, Vietnam, and Taiwan.

So far this year, imports have fallen 25 percent from South Korea, 8 percent from Japan and 6 percent from Germany.

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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.