US imports of steel increased by 20.7pc to 1.9mn nt (1.7 mt) in March 2021 against the same month of 2020 while finished imports rose by 23.6pc to 1.4mn nt against the preceding month, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI). The market share for finished steel imports is about 19pc in the US.
Sheets and strip saw the largest increase of 170.1pc to 108,591nt in March 2021 compared to 40,097nt imported in February. Rebar surged by 65.6pc to 141,474nt in March 2021, followed by hot rolled bars which rose by 57.8pc to 70,043nt, oil country goods (OCTG) with an increase of 45.4pc to 127,763nt, and sheets and strip galvanized that rose by 43.1pc to 244,396nt, all in comparison to February import levels.
The semi-finished category of ingots, billet, and slabs rose by 11.6pc to 516,420nt.Hot rolled sheets imports declined 12.8pc in March to 190,209nt against February, but sheets cold rolled climbed by 8.7pc to 131,419nt in the same time period comparison.
The largest volume of finished steel imports in March were from South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Germany, and Turkey with volumes of 239,000nt (13.5pc), 88,000nt (5pc), 85,000nt (5pc), Germany 82,000nt (5pc), and 43,000nt (2.4pc), respectively.
For Q1 2021, total steel imports rose by 3.1pc to 6.4mn nt but finished steel imports fell by 1.4pc to 4.5mn nt. The same offshore suppliers were dominant in Q1 2021. South Korean imports were 13.5pc of the total tonnage in Q1 2021, up from 12.1pc in the same quarter in 2020. Turkey’s imports increased by 28.6pc in Q1 2021 against the same year-ago quarter.