U.S. steel imports last year rose 47.2 percent from recession levels in 2009 and signs point to further improvement this year, said David Phelps, president of the American Institute for International Steel.
“Current market conditions appear to increase the reasons for optimism for early 2011 for imports, domestic shipments and based on reports associated with international conditions, for exports,” Phelps said.
By The Numbers: JOC-ECRI Industrial Price Index
For the year, steel imports totaled 23.9 million tons, compared with 16.2 million in 2009. Steel imports in December totaled 1.811 million tons. That was up 1.4 percent from November and a 28.4 percent increase from December 2009.
“Stronger market conditions at the end of the year in the U.S. are reflected in the increase in December of arrivals of semifinished steel products for conversion by domestic mills. This optimistic development also coincides with improved pricing and lengthening lead times for the domestic industry at the end of 2010,” Phelps said.
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