The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported the U.S. imported a total of 1,831,000 net tons (NT) of steel in November, down 2.3 percent from October 2003. The total, based on preliminary Census Bureau data, included 1,338,000 NT of finished steel, down 11.5 percent from October 2003.
An estimated 21,231,000 NT of steel and 16,787,000 NT of finished steel have been imported for the year-to-date, down 28.8 and 22.2 percent respectively.
The AISI said the decrease is related to Section 201, a more competitive U.S. steel industry, a decline in the value of the U.S. dollar against certain currencies, and the rising steel prices in China and other markets, compared to the lower steel prices in the U.S.
Steel imports increased in November from October with converters up 37 percent, line pipe up 35 percent, plate in coils up 18 percent, and cold-rolled sheets up 16 percent. Year-to-date imports show large gains in oil country goods (up 53 percent), electrical sheet and strip (up 25 percent), and tin plate (up 13 percent).
According to AISI, Purchasing Magazine reported the monthly price for hot-rolled sheet in November rose from U.S. $295.00 to $300.00, down 12 percent from a 21-year average of $339.00. The monthly price for cold-rolled sheet, remained at $380.00, down 15 percent from a 21-year average of $449.00.
"It is time to strengthen America's trade laws, which are a vital last-line of defense against dumped, subsidized, and disruptive trade," said Andrew G. Sharkey, III, AISI president and CEO. "Against the ongoing efforts of foreign governments to weaken U.S. trade laws through pending international negotiations in the OECD, FTAA, and WTO, the Congress and Administration need to move in the opposite direction. We need to make the trade laws of the United States more effective if we are to preserve and strengthen our manufacturing base."
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