NEW YORK U.S. steel
imports fell in March, according to the latest U.S. Census
Preliminary steel imports
totaled 2.25 million tonnes last month, down 1.3 percent from
Februarys final figure of 2.27 million tonnes and 19.3
percent lower than 2.78 million tonnes in March 2012.
Much of the March decrease was
due to a steep decline in imports of flat products,
particularly semifinished, which fell 18.6 percent from the
previous month to 450,515 tonnes; hot-rolled sheet, which slid
10.7 percent to 164,742 tonnes; cold-rolled sheet, down 22
percent to 83,009 tonnes; plate in coil, down 20.8 percent to
65,642 tonnes; and cut-to-length plate, which tumbled 29.8
percent to 60,584 tonnes.
The flat product decreases were
partially offset by increased imports of some long products and
pipe and tube. Reinforcing bar imports soared 88 percent to
140,423 tonnes, hot-rolled bar jumped 21 percent to 117,876
tonnes and oil country tubular goods imports climbed 17.9
percent to 215,617 tonnes.
Steel Dynamics Inc. president and chief executive officer
Mark D. Millett said during a recent earnings call that while
global steel overcapacity persists, parity in domestic and
foreign pricing for flat products is preventing "meaningful
import pressure" (
amm.com, April 18). Importers, however, say that a
pricing gap is keeping long products imports stable despite a
fragile market (
amm.com, April 22).