U.S. steel imports rose 18 percent in November from a year earlier and were up nearly 20 percent in the first 11 months of 2011.
November imports were down 10 percent to 2.1 million tons from the government’s upwardly revised totals in October.
“Notwithstanding how much the preliminary data will be revised, we believe that these data reflect a pause in imports from slower more cautious buying on the part of consumers and distributors in the early fall period when prices were softening,” said David Phelps, president, of the American institute for international Steel.
Through November last year, imports totaled 26.438 million tons, up from 22.058 million tons a year earlier.
“With the exception of non-residential construction, steel markets have continued their slow slog back from the depths of the recession,” Phelps said. “With the optimistic views that have been reported recently about this trend continuing in early 2012, we are hopeful that both domestic mills order books and import arrivals will strengthen in coming months.”