NEW YORK U.S. steel imports fell in December from the previous month, largely due to smaller shipments of oil country tubular goods (OCTG), galvanized sheet and strip, and plate products, U.S. Census Bureau data show.
Preliminary steel imports totaled 2.12 million tonnes last month, down 13.9 percent from Novembers final figure of 2.46 million tonnes but 13.3 percent higher than 1.87 million tonnes in December 2011, according to data released Jan. 23.
Major decreases in carbon and alloy products included OCTG, which fell 32.9 percent to 149,461 tonnes; hot-dipped galvanized sheet and strip (down 37.7 percent to 107,919 tonnes on decreases in shipments from India and South Korea); and plate in coil (down 32.6 percent to 83,319 tonnes).
Imports of cold-rolled sheet fell 17.9 percent to 109,975 tonnes on the back of decreases from China and Korea. A number of buyers said they are expecting larger shipments of Chinese cold-rolled sheet to hit U.S. shores in coming weeks.
Hot-rolled sheet imports jumped to 233,358 tonnes in December, up 39.5 percent from the previous month. While traders have said in recent weeks that the hot-rolled spot market has been difficult, a large shipment of coil from Australia boosted numbers last month. Semi-finished material also saw an increase, moving up 2.3 percent to 600,302 tonnes to its highest level since last March on increases from Russia and Mexico.