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Steel imports increase in May, have 23 percent market share

Steel imports increase in May, have 23 percent market share

WASHINGTON: Steel import permit applications rose 16 percent in May to 2.9 million net tons, according to the U.S. Commerce Department’s most recent Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis data.

Import tonnage for finished steel rose 2 percent to about 2.08 million in May, the American Iron and Steel Institute reported. As compared to April, steel imports from Turkey rose 25 percent to 153,000 net tons last month, while imports from Japan soared by 46 percent to 128,000 net tons.

In May, imports of oil country goods were up month-over-month by 89 percent, and tin plate shot up by 71 percent. The United States also saw substantial increases in imports of tin free steel, reinforcing bars, heavy structural shapes and wire rods.

So far this year, steel imports have captured 23 percent of the market share in the United States, including 24 percent for finished steel products that wouldn’t require any further processing here.

An unprecedented surged of cheap imports captured a record 29 percent of the market share last year, leading to mill closures and more than 15,000 layoffs nationwide.

But trade cases, tariffs and tougher new laws have throttled back on the rush of cheap imports, which often are subsidized and dumped, that is, sold for less than it would in its country of origin in violation of international trade laws.

Total steel imports are down 31 percent through the end of May to 12.9 million net tons. Finished steel imports also have declined by 31 percent to 10.5 million net tons.