US steel imports rise 15% in June

US steel imports rose 15% month on month in June amid higher shipments of hot-rolled coil and semi-finished steel, according to preliminary data from the Commerce Department July 27.

The US imported 2.63 million mt of steel in June, according to the preliminary data, up from May’s final import count of 2.29 million mt. Year over year, US steel imports in June jumped 106% compared with the 1.28 million mt imported in June of last year when the industry experienced disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The finished steel import market share was an estimated at 21% in June and is estimated at 16% over the first six months of 2021, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute. Through the first six months of 2021, total steel imports are up 18.5% year over year, according to the AISI.

Shipments of hot-rolled coil jumped to 310,865 mt, up 48% from the 210,159 mt imported in May, while imports of cold-rolled coil rose 20% on month to 134,535 mt. Shipments of hot-dip galvanized sheet, however, moved lower on month, falling 20% to 177,925 mt, according to the preliminary data.

Imports of non-slab semis also saw a sizeable gain on the month, rising 51% from May to 206,235 mt. Shipments of slab, meanwhile, rose 13% month on month to 520,856 mt.

Shipments of long products also rose month on month, with imports of wire rod and rebar rising 21% and 12%, respectively, from May.

Canada was the largest exporter of steel to the US in June, with shipments from the country rising 6% from May to 579,405 mt.

— Justine Coyne