Steel import market share at 19 percent in March

  • 10-Apr-2019
  • Steel import market share at 19 percent in March

Steel imports grabbed just 19% of the U.S. market share in March, far off the record market share of 29% that beleaguered the domestic industry during the height of the import crisis in 2015.

The United States imported 2.67 million tons of steel in March, a 5% increase from the 2.54 percent tons imported in February, according to the U.S. Commerce Department’s most recent Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis data. That included 1.82 million tons of finished steel products that would require no further processing in the United States, a 3.6% month-over-month increase.

So far this year, the United States has imported 8.7 million tons of steel, a 0.1% increase over the same period in 2018, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute. That includes 6 million tons of finished steel products, an 11.7% increase.

With tariffs of 25% in place against all foreign-made steel, imports have grabbed only about 21% so far this year, which is down significantly from recent years.

In March, imports of black plate rose by 187%, reinforcing bars by 154%, heavy structural shapes by 118%, steel piling by 117%, structural pipes and tubing by 29%, cold rolled sheets by 18%, hot rolled bars by 16%, sheets and strip all other metallic coatings by 13% and plates in coils by 13%, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute. So far this year, imports of black plate are up by 60%, line pipe by 41% and tin free steel by 19%.

In March, imports from South Korea fell 7% to 185,000 tons and Japan by 13% to 113,000 tons. Imports from Germany rose 25% to 103,000 tons, Taiwan by 49% to 103,000 tons, and Vietnam by 42% to 81,000 tons.

So far this year, South Korea, Japan and Germany have been the three largest offshore suppliers of steel. Imports from South Korea fell 21% to 746,000 tons over the first three months of the year. Imports from Japan dropped 11% to 349,000 tons through the end of March while imports from Germany rose 11% to 320,000 tons over that period.

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