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Steel import permit applications soar 43.2% in March

Steel import permit applications soar 43.2% in March

Steel import permit applications soar 43.2% in March

Workers unload wrapped steel coils from a ship at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor in 2015.

Steel import permit applications soared by 43.2% in March, with finished imports grabbing about 20% of the market share in the United States.

The United States imported an estimated 2.72 million tons of steel in March, according to the Washington D.C.-based American Iron and Steel Institute. That included 1.82 million tons of finished steel products that do not require any further processing in the United States, such as at the service centers at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor.

Finished steel import permit applications were up 32.6% in March as compared to the 2 million tons in February and up 43.2% as compared to the final imports of 1.9 million tallied in February.

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So far this year, the United States has imported 7 million tons of steel, up 9.58% as compared to the same period in 2020, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute. Finished steel imports have fallen by 0.3% to 4.49 million tons in the first two months of the year. Imports have grabbed about 18% of the market share so far this year.

In March, imports of sheets and strip all other metallic coatings rose by 178%, black plate by 113%, light shapes bars by 75%, oil country goods by 56%, hot rolled bars by 56%, sheets and strip hot dipped galvanized by 52%, cut lengths plates by 40%, cold rolled strip by 38%, standard pipe by 38%, mechanical tubing by 38%, line pipe by 36%, reinforcing bars by 32%, wire drawn by 26%, wire rods by 26%, structural pipe and tubing by 24% and plates in coils by 10%. So far this year, imports of steel piling are up by 157%, sheets and strip all other metallic coatings by 23%, cut lengths plates by 22%), hot rolled sheets by 21% and tin plate by 16%.

Last month, imports rose by 28% to 295,000 tons from South Korea, by 190% to 97,000 tons from Taiwan, and 534% to 46,000 tons from Vietnam. Imports fell 6% to 61,000 tons from Germany and 43% to 44,000 tons from Turkey.

So far this year, imports are up 20% from South Korea, up 12% from Japan, and down 12% from Germany.

Steel imports fell 21.2% last year, but still seized about 18% of the U.S. market share, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute. Import levels have been down since the U.S. government imposed blanket tariffs of 25% on more foreign-made steel.


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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.

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