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Steel imports down 10.4 percent this year

Steel coil at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor. Steel imports fell 1 percent in August, as compared to July.

In the wake of the worldwide Section 232 tariffs of 25 percent on foreign-made steel, steel imports into the United States have fallen by 10.4 percent through the first eight months of 2018, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

Imports dropped by nearly 1 percent month-over-month to 2.96 million tons in August, capturing 21 percent of the market share, according to the Washington D.C.-based American Iron and Steel Institute.

That included 2 million tons of finished steel products that require no further processing at service centers in the United States, down 8.1 percent as compared to July.

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So far this year, imports of finished steel products to the U.S. have dropped 11 percent to 18.2 million tons, or about 24 percent of the market share, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute. The United States has imported 23.8 million tons of steel from foreign countries over the first eight months of the year.

Imports of plates in coils are up 21 percent and hot rolled sheets by 18 percent so far this year, according to the AISI. In August, imports of wire rods rose by 30 percent and cut lengths plates by 13 percent.

The largest offshore suppliers of imports in August were South Korea, Turkey, Germany, Japan, and Tawain. Through the first eight months, imports have declined by 20 percent from South Korea, by 9 percent from Turkey, and by 18 percent from Taiwan. Only imports from Germany are up so far this year, by 2 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.