October 1, 2008
August Imports Down 19 Percent Vs. July

Washington, D.C. – Based on preliminary Census Bureau data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported today that the U.S. imported a total of 2,346,000 net tons (NT) of steel in August 2008, including 1,958,000 NT of finished steel (down 19 percent and 13 percent, respectively, vs. July final data). While total and finished steel imports through the first eight months of 2008 are down 11 percent and 12 percent, respectively, vs. the same period in 2007, the monthly average for finished steel imports in the most recent 3-month period (June-August 2008) is up 1 percent vs. the monthly average in the previous 3 months (March-May 2008). Total and finished steel imports on an annualized basis this year are down 4 percent and 5 percent, respectively, vs. 2007. On an annualized basis, total imports of steel in 2008 would be 31.8 million NT.

A key product with a large increase in August compared to the month before is Hot Rolled Bars (up 17%). For the year-to-date in 2008, products with significant increases vs. the same period in 2007 include Oil Country Goods (up 42%), Line Pipe (up 10%) and Hot Rolled Bars (up 9%).

In August, the largest volume of finished steel imports from offshore was from China (485,000 NT, up 37% from July). While steel imports from China in the first eight months of 2008 are down 30 percent compared to the same period last year, Chinese imports for the most recent 3-month period (June-August) are up 70 percent compared to the prior 3 months (March-May). Much of this tonnage is 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 August include Japan (171,000 NT, up 13% from July), South Korea (166,000 NT, down 35%), Germany (69,000 NT, down 35%) and Ukraine (60,000, up 34%). Below is a summary chart of finished steel imports by country.

AISI serves as the voice of the North American steel industry in the public policy arena and advances the case for steel in the marketplace as the preferred material of choice. AISI also plays a lead role in the development and application of new steels and steelmaking technology. AISI is comprised of 30 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and 138 associate and affiliate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry. AISI's member companies represent approximately 75 percent of both U.S. and North American steel capacity. For more news about steel and its applications, view AISI’s Web site at

Source: American Iron and Steel Institute, September 23, 2008

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