Davis Index: Market Intelligence for the Global Metals and Recycled Materials Markets

The US imported a total of 1.75mn nt of steel in March 2020, including 1.511 nt, or 86pc, of finished steel, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI). 


Total imported steel is up by 15.9, with finished steel rising by 12.1pc compared to February.


In Q1 2020, total and finished steel imports amounted to 6.41mn nt and 4.507mn nt, declining by 21.7pc and 25.6pc, respectively, compared to the same quarter a year ago. Annualized total and finished steel imports in 2020 are respectively slated to become 25.6mn nt and 18.0mn nt, decreasing by 8.2pc and 14.4pc compared to 2019.   


The finished steel import market share was an estimated 17pc in March, as well as for Q1 2020.


According to the AISI data, the top-two volume categories were ingots, billets, and slabs at 237,016nt in March, increasing by 48.1pc from the month prior, followed by sheets and strip galvanized hot dipped rising by 7.9pc to 205,781nt. The next three categories were mixed with HRC falling by 13.5pc at 135,264nt, OCTG substantially increasing by 128.9pc to 194,721nt, and CRC also rising 29.9pc to 126,403nt. 


Key finished steel products with significant import increases that were not in the top-five categories in March (compared to February) were line pipe, which rose by 93pc to 83,996nt; structural pipe and tubing, which increased by 52pc to 42,801nt; wire rods rising by 22pc to66,601nt; hot rolled bars up by 18pc to 67,869nt; wire drawn increasing by 14pc to 57,623nt; and standard pipe climbing by 13pc to 54,269nt.   


Most total volume categories in Q1 2020 declined on an annual basis. However, the only product to buck the trend was mechanical tubing, which increased by 16pc to 172,777nt. The top-three products with the largest quarter-on-quarter declines were line pipe, which decreased by 73.2pc to 199,372nt, followed by OCTG, which fell by 47pc to 407,951nt, and wire rods, which dropped by 28.3pc to 194,248nt. 

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