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Steel imports plunge 51.9% in August
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Steel imports plunge 51.9% in August

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Steel imports plunge 51.9% in August

Steel coil is processed at Alliance Steel in Gary.

Steel imports plummeted by 51.9% to 1.3 million tons in August, according to preliminary U.S. Census Bureau data. 

The United States imported 1.18 million tons of finished steel products that would require no further processing in the United States, such as at the steel service centers at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor. That was down by 13.9% as compared to July, according to the Washington D.C.-based American and Iron Steel Institute.

Imports grabbed an estimated 17% of the U.S. market share in August and have taken about 19% of the market share during the first eight months of the year, despite tariffs of 25% the United State is imposing on most foreign-made steel.

For the first eight months of the year, the United States has imported 16.4 million tons of steel, a 20.7% decline as compared to the same period last year, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute. Imports of finished steel products have fallen by 26.9% to 11.21 million tons.

Through the first two-third of the year, the United States is on pace to import 24.6 million tons of steel, which would be down 11.9% as compared to 2019. That includes 16.8 million tons of annualized finished steel products, a 20.1% decline.

In August, imports fell 29% to 112,000 tons from South Korea, 11% to 46,000 tons from Turkey and 14% to 36,000 tons from The Netherlands, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute. Imports rose 9% to 55,000 tons from Japan and 8% to 50,000 tons from Germany.

For the first eight months of the year, imports have fallen 26% to 1.39 million tons from South Korea, 43% to 539,000 tons from Japan, and 40% to 404,000 tons from Taiwan. Imports thus far this year from Turkey have risen 89% to 420,000 tons.

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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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