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News from AIIS: 2016 Steel Imports Press Release

News from AIIS: 2016 Steel Imports Press Release

Steel imports increased by 4.6 percent from October to November, driven almost entirely by a more than doubling of imports from Russia.

November’s 2.8 million net tons of imports were 14.2 percent higher than the monthly total from a year earlier.

Imports from Russia jumped 128.6 percent from the previous month to 212,000 net tons, a nearly 17 percent increase from November 2015. Imports from Brazil increased 30 percent to 377,000 net tons, down 2.1 percent from the previous November, and imports from Mexico grew by 10.6 percent to 300,000 net tons, which was almost 83 percent higher than in November of the previous year. Imports from Canada increased 5.6 percent to 495,000 net tons (up 13.7 percent from November 2015) while imports from the European Union fell about 5 percent to 404,000 net tons (up 2.4 percent).

Through the first 11 months of 2016, imports were 16.8 percent lower than they were during the same time in 2015 at 30.32 million net tons. Imports from Canada decreased 2.9 percent to 5.21 million net tons, while imports from the European Union, Brazil and South Korea all dropped more than 21 percent to 4.27 million net tons, 4.01 million net tons and 3.54 million net tons, respectively. Imports from Mexico were up 6.1 percent year-to-date at 2.75 million net tons.

Semifinished imports increased 34.7 percent from November 2015 to 672,000 net tons. Year-to-date, though, they decreased 15 percent to 5.94 million net tons.

November’s import numbers, especially when combined with other recent economic data, could be a cause for optimism. The economy grew at an annualized rate of 3.5 percent in the third quarter, the unemployment rate dropped to 4.6 percent in November and The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index reached a 15-year-high in December. If these trends continue and steel imports, which are a critical component of economic expansion, continue to regain ground, 2017 has the potential to be a good year.

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