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Steel imports fall by 27.2 percent

Steel coils are shown stored at the Thyssenkrupp steel factory in Duisburg, Germany. Steel imports fell by 27.2 percent in November.

Steel imports fell by 27.2 percent month-over-month in November, the most recent month for which data was available.

The American Iron and Steel Institute reported the United States imported 2.3 million tons of steel that month, including 1.9 million tons of finished steel products that would require no further processing in the United States, down 4.1 percent as compared to October.

With the Section 232 tariffs of 25 percent on foreign-made steel in place, steel imports totaled 31.8 million tons through the first 11 months of last year, down 10.8 percent as compared to the same period the previous year. Imports of finished steel products fell 13.2 percent year-over-year to 24 million tons during the first 11 months of 2018.

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Finished steel products grabbed 23 percent of the market share over that period, including 21 percent in November 2018, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute.

South Korea, Japan, Germany, Turkey and Taiwan were the biggest offshore suppliers of steel to the United States through the first 11 months of last year, according to the AISI. In November, imports rose 6 percent from South Korea, 10 percent from Germany, 5 percent from Vietnam, 8 percent from Japan, and 40 percent from Taiwan.

In November, imports of heavy structural shapes rose by 67 percent, wire rods by 57 percent, and mechanical tubing by 12 percent. For the year, imports of hot-rolled sheets were up by 22 percent and plates in coil by 16 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.