A report by the American Iron and Steel Institute was released today showing that there was a 18% decline in may, 2008 steel imports over april, 2008.  The U.S. importred a total of 2,451,000 (NT) of steel in may 2008, including 1,998,000 (NT) of finished steel.  For the first 5 months of 2008 total and finished steel imports are down by 11% and 14%, respectively vs the same period in 2007.  However, in the most recent 3 months March-May 2008 is up 10% vs the monthly average in the previous 3 months (Dec. 2007 – Feb. 2008)

U.S. Steel Imports May 2008

Total and finished steel imports on an annualized basis this year are down 5 percent and 6 percent, respectively, vs. 2007. On an annualized basis, total imports of steel in 2008 would be 31.6 million NT. Key products with large increases in May compared to the month before include: Sheet & Strip Galvanized Hot Dipped (up 89%), Oil Country Goods (up 21%), Heavy Structural Shapes (up 15%) and Cold Rolled Sheets (up 10%). For the first five months of 2008, products showing significant increases vs. the same period in 2007 included Oil Country Goods (up 17%) and Line Pipe (up 16%).

 

  U.S. May 2008 finished steel imports by country of orgin

For May, the largest volume of finished steel imports from offshore was from China (287,000 NT, up 59% from April), which recorded its highest monthly volume of the year. Much of this tonnage was in high-value steel products still receiving government export tax rebates (e.g., OCTG, line pipe and hot-dipped galvanized sheet). Other major offshore suppliers in May included South Korea (199,000 NT, down 6% from April), Japan (118,000 NT, down 30%), India (96,000 NT, up 16%) and Germany (81,000 NT, down 44%). Below is a summary chart of finished imports by country.