Steel imports in April were 2.679 million tons, increasing 4.2 percent from 2.570 million tons in March, but down 14.8 percent from April 2012, according to preliminary government reporting, the American Institute for International Steel said.
“Imports increased in April primarily due to an increase in arrivals of semi-finished slab imports for further processing by the domestic integrated industry, suggesting an anticipation of improved conditions in the U.S. market going forward,” said David Phelps, president of AIIS, in a written statement. “Imports of rebars posted a decline,” he added.
In the first four months of 2013, steel imports declined by 11.7 percent year-over-year to 10.374 million tons.
“Year-to-date imports remain weak, which reflects the slow start to the year experienced by all suppliers of steel to the US market,” Phelps continued. “With inventory levels currently low and demand in several sectors strong, such as autos and strong consumption in oil and gas related products, there is increasing optimism that the market is on the mend as we move to the mid-point in the second quarter.”