Total steel imports into the US increased by 9.8pc to 7.04mn nt (6.38mn mt) in Q1 2021 compared to the same quarter last year, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI).
AISI, which based its figures on the most recent Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis data released by the US Department of Commerce, indicated that finished steel imports in the first quarter decreased by 0.3pc to 4.49mn nt compared to Q1 2020. Compared to the previous month, total and finished steel imports in March increased by 32.6pc and 29.6pc, respectively.
In March, total steel import permits tallied at 2.72mn nt, up from 2.05mn nt in the previous month while finished steel permits stood at 1.82mn nt, up from 1.43mn nt in the same period.
During the quarter, Korea was the largest exporter of steel to the US, with shipments from the Asian nation increasing by 20pc from Q1 2020 to 657,000nt. Japan’s shipments in Q1 were up 12pc on an annual basis to 227,000nt while Germany’s shipments declined by 12pc to 149,000nt.
Korea remained the largest exporter of steel to the US with its shipments rising by 28pc to 295,000nt in March compared to the previous month. Taiwan’s shipments in the same monthly timeframe increased by 190pc to 97,000nt and Vietnam’s increased by 524pc to 46,000nt. Turkey’s shipments during this period fell by 43pc to 44,000nt and Germany’s declined by 6pc to 61,000nt in the same period.
In the first three months of the year imports of steel pilings increased by 157pc, compared to Q1 2020, followed by sheets and strip all other metallic coatings which rose 23pc, cut length plates, up 22pc, hot rolled sheets up 21pc and tin plate which rose 16pc in the same period.
The most imported items on a monthly basis included sheets and strip, the shipments of which almost tripled in March compared to February. Shipments of black plate, up 113pc, followed along with light shapes bars, oil country goods, hot-rolled bars, hot-dip galvanized sheets and strip, all of which increased by over 50pc during the same period.