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Steel imports skyrocket by 83.3 percent in January

Steel coils are shown stored at the Thyssenkrupp steel factory in Duisburg, Germany. Steel imports shot up 83.3% month-over-month in January.

The United States imported 3.4 million tons of steel in January, a 20.7% increase over January 2018 but more than 83% over the previous month.

Preliminary U.S. Census Bureau data showed that the United States imported 2.4 million tons of finished steel products that require no further processing by American steelworkers at service centers or steel mills in the United States in January, a 5% increase year-over-year.

Total steel imports skyrocketed 83.3% in January over December, while finished imports were up 46% over the prior month, according to the Washington, D.C.-based American Iron and Steel Institute.

Finished steel imports grabbed an estimated 25% of the U.S. market share in January, which is lower than in recent years largely because of the 25% tariffs on most foreign steel.

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In January, imports of reinforcing bars soared by 241%, oil country goods by 148%, cut lengths plates by 127%, and structural shapes heavy by 70%, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute.

Imports of line pipe rose by 61%, standard pipe by 58%, sheets and strip all other metallic coatings by 52%, mechanical tubing by 45%, sheets and strip galvanized hot dipped by 39%, wire drawn by 27%, plates in coils by 23%, tin plate by 23%, hot rolled bars by 21%, cold rolled sheets by 13% and hot rolled sheets by 12%.

In January, hot rolled steel band prices in the United States dropped by 4% and cold-rolled coil prices by 2%, according to the steel price website SteelBenchmarker.

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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.