NEW YORK U.S. steel
imports fell in December from the previous month, largely due
to smaller shipments of oil country tubular goods (OCTG),
galvanized sheet and strip, and plate products, U.S. Census
Bureau data show.
Preliminary steel imports
totaled 2.12 million tonnes last month, down 13.9 percent from
Novembers final figure of 2.46 million tonnes but 13.3
percent higher than 1.87 million tonnes in December 2011,
according to data released Jan. 23.
Major decreases in carbon and
alloy products included OCTG, which fell 32.9 percent to
149,461 tonnes; hot-dipped galvanized sheet and strip (down
37.7 percent to 107,919 tonnes on decreases in shipments from
India and South Korea); and plate in coil (down 32.6 percent to
Imports of cold-rolled sheet
fell 17.9 percent to 109,975 tonnes on the back of decreases
from China and Korea. A number of buyers said they are
expecting larger shipments of Chinese cold-rolled sheet to hit
U.S. shores in coming weeks.
Hot-rolled sheet imports jumped
to 233,358 tonnes in December, up 39.5 percent from the
previous month. While traders have said in recent weeks that
the hot-rolled spot market has been difficult, a large shipment
of coil from Australia boosted numbers last month.
Semi-finished material also saw an increase, moving up 2.3
percent to 600,302 tonnes to its highest level since last March
on increases from Russia and Mexico.