Steel Imports Jump 47 Percent in 2010
U.S. steel imports totaled 23.9 million tons in 2010, a 47 percent increase from 2009, according to data from the Commerce Department and the American Iron and Steel Institute, Washington, D.C. Finished steel imports were up 33 percent to 18.8 million tons.
“Notwithstanding a small improvement in December domestic steel production and declining finished steel imports over the last four months, domestic steel capacity utilization in the United States ended the year at only 70 percent, while steel imports in full-year 2010 maintained a 21 percent share of the U.S. market,” says Thomas J. Gibson, AISI president and CEO. “Looking ahead to 2011, continued improvements in domestic steel market conditions will depend in no small measure on ensuring that U.S. producers are not further injured by surges of dumped and subsidized imports.”
In December, steel import applications totaled 1.8 million tons, flat compared to November’s permit applications, but up 2 percent from the preliminary import tons from the month. Import permit tonnage for finished steel was 1.4 million tons, down 3 percent from the preliminary import totals.
In December, the largest finished steel import permit applications from offshore countries were for Korea, 168,000 net tons, up 10 percent from November; Japan, 96,000 tons, down 7 percent; Germany, 65,000 net tons, down 5 percent; and China, 61,000 net tons, down 13 percent. Finished steel import market share for December was 19 percent.