U.S. steel imports in May were 2.801 million tons, increasing 2.3 percent from 2.738 million tons in April (revised), but declining 8.6 percent compared with May 2012, according to government reporting.
“Weak market conditions for imports, as well as domestic suppliers, continue to be reflected in these import levels,” said David Phelps, president of the American Institute for International Steel, in a written statement. “The increase in semi-finished imports for use by the domestic integrated mills was greater than the increase in total imports.”
Year-to-date, imports declined by 10.6 percent from 14.812 million tons in 2012 to 13.235 million tons in 2013.
“The sluggish economic conditions in the U.S. economy continue to depress imports, domestic shipments and pricing,” Phelps said. “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.”
Imported semi-finished products increased by 4.1 percent in May, compared with May 2012, from 652,000 tons to 679,000 tons. From January to May, imported semi-finished products dropped 15.7 percent year-over-year from 3.411 million tons to 2.877 million tons.