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Steel imports continue to fall in June

Steel coils are shown stored at the Thyssenkrupp steel factory in Duisburg, Germany. Steel imports fell 3.7 percent year-over-year in June.

Permit applications for steel imports fell 3.7 percent year-over-year in June to 2.89 million net tons, which was a 0.3 percent increase over May but continued the downward trend that's followed the new round of tariffs on foreign steel.

With the Section 232 tariffs of 25 percent in full effect, imports grabbed only 22 percent of the market share in June and have taken only 25 percent of the market share so far this year, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute. Imports have accounted for 28 percent or more of the U.S. market share for the last few years.

So far this year, imports of steel are down 7.4 percent and imports of finished steel products that require no further processing at service centers in the United States are down 6.6 percent, according to the AISI.

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Permit applications for steel imports dropped 19.5 percent month over month to 1.94 million in June. The largest offshore suppliers to request steel import permits from the United States were South Korean, Japan, Taiwan and Vietnam. Imports have fallen by 10 percent from South Korea and 7 percent from Japan so far this year.

So far in 2018, imports of hot rolled sheets are up 25 percent, plates in coils by 23 percent, line pipe by 12 percent and mechanical tubing by 12 percent, the AISI reports.

In June, imports of black plate skyrocketed by 540 percent, and imports of sheets, strip and all other metallic coatings rose by 24 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.