Steel and finished steel imports into the US declined by 52.2pc and 18.4pc, respectively, in February, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute and US Census Bureau data.
The country imported 1.5mn nt (1.4mn mt) of steel and 1.3mn nt of finished steel last month. Through the first two months of 2020, total steel imports decreased by 21.3pc to 4.6mn nt while finished steel shipments decreased by 28.7pc to 3mn nt. Annualized data indicates total steel imports in 2020 at 27.9mn nt, unchanged from 2019, while finished steel imports could decline by 14.7pc in 2020 to 18mn nt.
Of all finished steel product shipments in February, imports of heavy structural shapes rose by 57pc and tin plate increased by 15pc. Mechanical tubing imports, which increased by 12pc showed the largest year-to-date increase in 2020 compared to the same 2019 period.
Finished steel imports from South Korea, which totaled 158,000nt in February, declined by 13pc from the earlier month, while finished steel imports from Japan, decreased by 9pc to at 69,000nt. The US imported 37,000nt of steel from Brazil, indicating a decline of 58pc compared to January.
However, finished steel imports in February from Turkey rose by 44pc to 73,000nt compared to January and increased from Germany by 7pc to 52,000nt during the same period.
Through the first two months of 2020, finished steel from South Korea fell by 38pc to 340,000nt, compared to the same two-month period in 2019, while imports from Japan, which totaled 146,000nt, declined by 37pc. Finished steel imports from Brazil during the first two months of the year decreased by 16pc to 126,000nt compared to the prior year period, and German imports decreased by 54pc to 100,000nt.
Conversely, at 124,000nt, finished steel imports from Turkey during the first two months of 2020 rose by 23pc compared to the same period last year.