NEW YORK U.S. stainless steel imports and consumption dropped in December compared with the same month a year earlier, according to data from the Specialty Steel Industry of North America (SSINA).
Domestic consumption of all stainless products totaled 184,519 short tons in December, down 3.7 percent from 191,682 tons in the same 2011 month, while imports fell 6.8 percent to 50,518 tons from 54,190 tons.
Stainless plate and rod showed the biggest percentage declines during the month. Stainless plate consumption fell 31.8 percent year on year to 23,255 tons in December, while imports dropped 47.1 percent to 7,126 tons; and stainless rod consumption slid 33.3 percent and imports dropped 38.5 percent to 3,548 tons and 1,351 tons, respectively, in the same comparison.
Stainless sheet and strip bucked the downward trend, with consumption rising 6.6 percent to 134,676 tons in December and imports up 22.6 percent to 28,448 tons.
Meanwhile, alloy tool steel imports fell 6.2 percent year on year to 9,792 tons in December, while electrical steel imports fell 22.4 percent to 5,272 tons in the same comparison.