November 5, 2008
September Imports Up 15 Percent Vs. August

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 2,921 ,000 net tons (NT) of steel in September 2008, including 2,428,000 NT of finished steel (up 15 percent and 18 percent, respectively, vs. August final data). While total and finished steel imports through the first nine months of 2008 are down 7 percent and 8 percent, respectively, vs. the same period in 2007, the monthly average for finished steel imports in the most recent 3-month period (July-September 2008) is up 5 percent vs. the monthly average in the previous 3 months (April-June2008). Total and finished steel imports on an annualized basis this year are each down 3 percent, respectively, vs. 2007. On an annualized basis, total imports of steel in 2008 would be 32.4 million NT.

Key products with a large increase in September compared to the month before are All Other Coated Sheet and Strip (up 73%), Plates in Coils (up 51%), Line Pipe (up 48%), Oil Country Goods (up 46%) and Hot Dipped Galvanized Sheet and Strip (up 34%). For the year-to-date in 2008, products with significant increases vs. the same period in 2007 include Oil Country Goods (up 58%), Line Pipe (up 12%), Hot Rolled Sheet (up 9%) and Hot Rolled Bars (up 8%).

In September, the largest volume of finished imports from offshore was from China (567,000 NT, up 15% from August). This was 23% of all finished imports and equal to the entire monthly tonnage from Canada and Mexico. While steel imports from China in the first nine months of 2008 are down 21 percent compared to the same period last year, Chinese imports for the most recent 3-month period (July-September) are up 69 percent vs. the prior 3 months (April-June). Much of this tonnage is in high-value products still receiving government export tax rebates. Other major offshore suppliers in September include Korea (246,000 NT, up 46% from August), India (157,000, up 193%), Japan (121,000 NT, down 30%), Turkey (107,000 NT, up 730%) and Germany (92,000 NT, up 25%).

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 27 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, October 28, 2008.

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Brought to you by the Steel Framing Alliance (SFA) on the first Wednesday of each month, Framework Online arms you with the latest news and commentary on the steel framing and construction industries. In addition to industry headlines, trends and project profiles, Framework Online provides information and ideas that will better enable members to increase their participation in the residential and commercial construction markets.