WASHINGTON U.S. steel imports appear to have bucked a two-month slide, increasing 4 percent in April from the previous month on increased shipments from Brazil and Japan.
April import license applications totaled 2.34 million tonnes, according to data from the Commerce Departments Import Administration, up from March preliminary figures of 2.25 million tonnes but down 18.1 percent from 2.85 million tonnes in April last year.
Increases were posted for cut-to-length plate, which jumped 90.2 percent from March to 115,210 tonnes, as well as imports of semifinished material, which increased 9.2 percent to 492,155 tonnes.
Decreases were seen in hot-dipped galvanized sheet and strip, which fell 28.1 percent to 122,598 tonnes, as well as reinforcing bar, which plunged 78.1 percent to 36,766 tonnes.
Brazil was responsible for the largest increase, particularly in shipments of cold-rolled sheet and semifinished material, while Japan was responsible for major increases in standard rail, line pipe and semifinished products.
A major decrease was seen in shipments from Turkey, particularly in reinforcing bar, though that was partially offset by shipments of oil country tubular goods and standard pipe.