Based on preliminary Census Bureau data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported that the U.S. imported a total of 3,114,000 net tons (NT) of steel in November, including 2,461,000 NT of finished steel. Imports in these categories declined 11.7 and 10.9 percent, respectively, compared to October, but year-to-date (YTD) remain 52.7 percent higher in both categories. The YTD gain of more than 50 percent in finished steel imports is more than three times the 14.3-percent increase in steel consumption. As a result, finished steel import market share in this period has risen from 15.8 to 20.9 percent.
For the year-to-date compared to last year, imports continue at substantially higher levels in almost all major product lines, including hot-rolled sheet (up 83 percent). U.S. "spot" prices for hot- and cold-rolled sheet in November went down for the second month in a row, according to public data reported by Purchasing Magazine. The September-November price declines for these products are 6.9 and 4.2 percent, respectively.
"Steel companies in the United States today are customer-focused, globally competitive and can compete with any firm anywhere -- provided it is on the basis of market principles," David S. Sutherland, president and CEO of IPSCO Inc. and chairman of AISI, said. "There is a place for fairly traded imports in the U.S. market, but there is zero tolerance for unfair trade. Efficient market-based steel producers in the U.S. and NAFTA region are concerned about the recent announcements of massive state-supported steel capacity expansions offshore, and look forward to discussing this issue at next month's conference at the OECD."
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