Steel imports increased in May over April by 2.3 percent based on preliminary government reporting which was analyzed by the American Institute for International Steel (AIIS).
“Weak market conditions for imports as well as domestic suppliers continue to be reflected in these import levels. The increase in semi-finished imports for use by the domestic integrated mills was greater than the increase in total imports,” said David Phelps, AIIS president, in a statement.
For the year-to-date period, imports declined by 10.6 percent compared to 2012.
“The sluggish economic conditions in the U.S. economy continue to depress imports, domestic shipments and pricing. Recent price increase announcements by domestic mills give some optimism for improved market conditions, although the most important steel market, non-residential construction, continues to be far too weak to sustain strong market conditions,” Phelps added.
Total steel imports in May were 2.801 million tons compared to 2.738 million tons in April, a 2.3 percent increase, and an 8.6 percent decrease compared to May 2012. For the year-to-date period, imports decreased from 14.812 million tons in the first five months of 2012 to 13.235 million tons in the same 2013 period, a 10.6 percent decrease.
According to AIIS, imported semi-finished products increased by 4.1 percent in May compared to May 2012, from 652,000 tons in 2012 to 679,000 tons in 2013, based on preliminary reporting. For the year-to-date period, imported semi-finished products decreased from 3.411 million tons in the first five months of 2013 to 2.877 million tons in the same 2013 period, a 15.7 percent decrease, according to AIIS.