Finished steel imports plunged 26.2% in the first half of 2020 after the worldwide coronavirus pandemic gutted demand.
The United States imported 1.39 million tons of steel in June, which was down 23% as compared to May, according to preliminary U.S. Census Bureau data. Finished steel imports fell 12.7% to 1.31 million tons.
Through the first six months of the year, steel imports have fallen 20.8% to 12.3 million tons, according to the Washington D.C.-based trade association American Iron and Steel Institute. Finished steel imports have plunged 26.2% to 8.6 million tons during that period as compared to the same time in 2019.
The United States is on pace to import 24.8 million tons of steel this year, including 17.3 million tons of steel that would require no further processing in America, such as at service centers or the steel companies operating at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor.
The largest offshore suppliers of steel in June were South Korean, Japan, Turkey, Taiwan and Germany. So far this year, imports have fallen 23% from South Korea, 40% from Japan, 39% from Germany, and 36% from Taiwan.
Thus far in 2020, South Korea has sent 1.1 million tons of steel to the United States, Japan 434,000 tons, Germany 377,000 tons, and Turkey 323,000 tons.