Total imports of steel by the US dropped by 9.9pc to 3.14mn nt (282mn mt) in January 2020 compared to the same month last year, according to the American Iron & Steel Institute (AISI) data. Finished steel, which made up around 1.63mn nt of the total steel shipments saw a steeper drop of 33.4pc during the same period.
However, compared to December 2019, both total and finished steel imports rose by 97.7pc and 20.4pc, respectively.
On a monthly basis, imports of reinforcing bar imports to the US rose by 134pc in January over December 2019, followed by sheet and strip all other metallic coatings, which increased by 126pc. Imported heavy structural shapes also increased by 98pc, as did wire rods by 66pc, and hot-dipped sheets and strips dipped by 56pc. Additionally, mechanical tubing imports increased by 43pc, wire drawn by 33pc, and standard pipe were up by 13pc.
In January, the finished steel imports into the US from South Korea decreased by 49.6pc to 182,000nt from 361,000nt in January 2019, but increased by 8.3pc from 168,000nt in December 2019.
US imports from Brazil decreased by 32.1pc to 88,000nt in January from 129,000nt in the same period last year, but rose by 579.2pc from 13,000nt imported during the prior month.
According to the AISI data, on an annual basis, US finished steel imports from Japan decreased by 28.3pc to 76,000nt in January 2020 from 106,000nt during the prior year period, but rose by 14.3pc from 67,000nt in December.
Finished steel imports from Spain increased by 27.8pc to 55,000nt in January 2020 from 43,000nt during the same month in 2019. Imports from Spain also increased by 78.6pc from 31,000nt in December.
US imports from Turkey declined by 23.2pc in January to 51,000nt of finished steel from 66,000nt during January 2019. However, finished steel imports from Turkey rose by 606pc over December import levels of 7,000nt.
US imports from Germany decreased by 63.pc in January 2020 48,000nt from 134,000nt during the same month in 2019. Imports from Germany declined by 38pc from 78,000 in December.
The US imported 41,000nt of finished steel from Taiwan in January 2020, down by 59.1p from 101,000nt during the prior year period. However, January imports are 31.7pc higher than they were in December when 31,000nt was brought in from Taiwan.