NEW YORK U.S. imports of steel slab rose 12.1 percent in May vs. April due to a major jump to the Mobile, Ala., district.
Imports of the unfinished material totaled 578,176 tonnes that month, according to U.S. Census Bureau data compiled by AMM, up from 515,666 tonnes in April. May figures were also higher than the 521,533 tonnes imported in May 2012.
The increase was driven in large part by imports to Mobile, which almost doubled to 298,640 tonnes due to increased volumes from Brazil. The Mobile district includes ThyssenKrupp AGs Calvert, Ala., facility.
Germany-based ThyssenKrupp, which is currently in a sales process for its U.S. facility, faced operational issues in the spring at its slab plant in Brazil. The steelmaker has since restarted its slab facility after problems with its blast furnace (amm.com, June 14).
Imports to the Philadelphia district remained low in May, with imports falling 17 percent to 20,612 tonnes compared to the previous month, a far cry from May 2012 figures of 107,266 tonnes. The district includes the Pennsylvania facilities of Portage, Ind.-based NLMK USA, Chicago-based Evraz Inc. North Americas Claymont, Del., operations and Chicago-based ArcelorMittal USA Inc.s Coatesville, Pa., plant.
Slab imports into the Los Angeles district, which includes Fontana, Calif.-based California Steel Industries Inc., slid to 132,952 tonnes compared to 167,439 tonnes the month prior, while imports through the Columbia-Snake River region, including Evrazs Portland, Ore.-based mill, fell to 67,101 tonnes from 105,433 tonnes the month prior.
By country, increases were seen from Brazil (up 32 percent), Russia (up 14 percent) and Mexico (up 27 percent).