Total steel imports into the US dropped 22pc to 1.89mn nt (1.71mn mt) in February 2021 compared to the prior month’s final data while finished steel imports rose 15pc to 1.42mn nt in the same period, according to the American Iron & Steel Institute (AISI).
In January-February 2021, total steel imports fell 7.5pc to 4.31mn nt as finished steel imports declined by 11.1pc to 2.66mn nt compared to the same time frame in 2020.
The most sought after finished steel imports in February compared with the previous month include tin plate, up 158pc; cold rolled sheets, up 69pc; hot rolled sheets, up 63pc; line pipe, up 38pc; mechanical tubing, up 19pc; and wire rods, up 17pc.
In the first two months, structural pipe and tubing showed a considerable increase, rising 13pc against the same period in 2020.
In February, South Korea was the most sought-after destination for finished steel imports, increasing 75pc to 231,000nt compared with January’s final numbers. Next came Turkey, down 6pc to 77,000nt; Japan, up 65pc to 76,000nt; Germany up 180pc to 65,000nt; and Brazil down 20pc to 33,000nt.
South Korea remains the largest offshore steel provider for the first two months of 2021 with shipments from this location totaling 362,000nt, up 6pc; followed by Turkey at 158,000nt, up 28pc; Japan at 123,000nt, down 16pc; Germany at 88,000nt, down 12pc; and Brazil at 75,000nt, down 41pc, all compared to Jan-Feb 2020.