November steel imports decreased sharply to 1.86mn nt—28pc below October-levels when 2.6mn tons were recorded, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI).
Preliminary import totals also fell 14.4pc in November from 2.2mn mt a month earlier.
According to AISI, import tonnage for finished steel declined 18.8pc in November to 1.2mn t, from 1.47mn t in October. Between January and November of this year, 26.6mn nt of total steel and 19.5mn nt of finished steel were imported into the US, down 16.3pc and 18.6pc, respectively, from the same 11-month period in 2018.
November finished steel imports that outpaced October preliminary imports included black plat, up 353pc; cut length plates, 39pc; line pipe, 28pc; reinforcing bars 18pc; and hot rolled bars 16pc. Through the first 11 months of 2019 compared to the same period last year, black plate permits are up 90pc, steel piling increased 34pc, and tin free steel rose 20pc.
South Korea had the largest finished steel import permit applications in November rising 3pc from the previous month to 175,000nt from the previous month. Japan, at 75,000nt, rose a modest 1pc in November compared to October. The Netherlands’ 71,000nt in November saw a substantial increase of 133pc over October.
Germany’s finished steel import permit application, at 56,000nt, decreased 29pc, while Taiwan declined 9pc with a 35,000nt permit application.
Between January and November 2019, South Korea was the largest importer into the US at 2.4mn nt, however, that is 10pc below what was imported from the country during the same span in 2018. Japan, at 1.16mn nt is down 9pc from the same 11-month span in 2018, while Germany, at 966,000nt, is down 21pc.