NEW YORK U.S. steel imports edged up in July but were down from the same month last year, with sharply lower shipments of oil country goods, line pipe and cut-to-length plate, according to preliminary U.S. Census Bureau data.
Steel imports totaled nearly 2.25 million tonnes last month, up 0.6 percent from 2.23 million tonnes in June but down 10.9 percent from nearly 2.52 million tonnes in July last year.
Oil country goods imports totaled 211,480 tonnes last month, down 12.7 percent from June and down nearly 25 percent from 281,768 tonnes in July last year.
Imports of line pipe over 16 inches slid 11 percent in July from the previous month to 48,622 tonnes and were down 58.8 percent from 118,002 tonnes a year earlier.
Cut-to-length plate imports totaled 53,255 tonnes in July, down 17.4 percent from June and 47.6 percent below 101,653 tonnes in July last year.
Europe shipped 511,947 tonnes of steel to the United States in July, down 16.8 percent from the same month last year, while the Pacific Rim nations shipped 741,253 tonnes, down 8.2 percent in the same comparison.
South American shipments showed the strongest gain, totaling 308,600 tonnes in July, up 25.4 percent from last year.