NEW YORK U.S. steel
imports fell 2.3 percent to 2.72 million tonnes in April from
more than 2.78 million tonnes the previous month but were 17.6
percent above 2.31 million tonnes a year earlier, according to
preliminary data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Major product increases last
month included plate in coil, which more than doubled to
186,350 tonnes vs. March due to higher Russian shipments, while
wire rod imports jumped 57.2 percent to 140,605 tonnes due to
gains from China and Turkey.
But a number of major products
plunged in the same comparison, including line pipe (down 33.2
percent), cut-to-length plate (down 24.9 percent), cold-rolled
sheet (down 30.7 percent) and semi-finished products (down 22.4
"The uptick puts year-to-date
imports nearly 30 percent higher than year-ago levels,"
Michelle Applebaum, managing partner at Steel Market
Intelligence, wrote in a research note. "Through the first two
weeks of May, import licenses are trending a nominal 2.4
percent lower than peak April levels, but given overproduction
in other regions we expect to see imports remain high in coming
May import licenses totaled 2.08
million tonnes through the first three weeks of May, according
to the U.S. Commerce Departments Import