The US imported 2.69mn nt (2.44mn mt) of steel in July comprised of 1.37mn nt of finished steel and 1.32mn nt of semi-finished steel, according to preliminary data from American Iron and Steel Institute.
In July, US imports of steel rose by 92pc against June final numbers as imports of ingots, billets, and slab (semi-finished steel) increased by 1558pc in July against June. Finished imports increased by 3.6pc to 1.37mn nt in July against 1.32mn nt in June but declined by 26.1pc in the same month a year ago.
For the top five finished steel products, galvanized sheets and strip increased by 35pc to 228,142nt, rebar increased by 61.2pc to 125,186nt, and tin-plate increased by 42.6pc to 85,950nt in July, all compared to June import data. HRC and CRC encountered nominal changes with an increase of 1pc to 123,241nt and a decline of 2.4pc to 99,388nt, respectively, in July against June.
In July, the largest exporters were South Korea (158,000nt), Brazil (88,000nt), China (60,000nt), Turkey (52,000), and Japan (50,000nt). While South Korea and Japan declined 15pc and 17pc, respectively, Brazil increased by 286pc, China increased by 53pc, and Turkey increased by 76pc, all against June imports.
For the first seven months in 2020, South Korea was the largest exporter at 1.28mn nt. While South Korea decreased by 21pc against the same period in 2019, the exported volume is 2.5 times more than the next largest exporter, namely Japan, with exports of 484,000nt. Japan decreased exports by 40pc against the seven-month period a year ago as Germany decreased by 39pc to 422,000nt, and Brazil decreased exports by 6pc to 373,000nt. Of the top five exporters year-to-date, Turkey is the only country that encountered an increase of 80pc to 375,000nt as buyers were restricted in 2019 by additional steel tariffs imposed by the Trump administration.
Compared to a year ago, year-to-date, galvanized sheets and strip decreased by 12.3pc, rebar decreased by 4.8pc, HRC decreased by 12.7pc, CRC decreased by 20.7pc, and tin plate decreased by 13pc. For the first seven months, oil country goods (OCTG) and line pipe encountered the highest import decline by 48.8pc to 845,165nt and 65.3pc to 463,269nt, respectively, as the energy sector contracted in H1 2020 with plummeting oil prices.