U.S. steel imports increased in February compared to January by 1.4 percent, according to preliminary government data analyzed by the American Institute for International Steel.
“Improved pricing at the end of 2013 and improved demand compared to the weak start to 2013 have created opportunities for importers, and imports have been arriving at more healthy levels so far in 2014,” said Richard Chriss, the association’s executive director, in a statement.
“We have been predicting a better start to the year since late 2013, and the AIIS monthly importer survey supports our optimistic view,” he added.
For the first two months of 2014, compared to the same period last year, steel imports are up by 25.9 percent, AIIS noted.
Total steel imports in February were 3.25 million tons compared to 3.205 million tons in January, a 1.4 percent increase, and a 29.6 percent increase compared to February 2013. Year-to-date, imports increased from 5.125 million tons in the first two months of 2013 to 6.455 million tons in the same 2014 period, a 25.9 percent increase.
AIIS said imported semi-finished products increased by 22.7 percent in February compared to February 2013, from 622,000 tons in 2013 to 763,000 tons in 2014, based on preliminary reporting. Year-to-date, imported semi-finished products increased from 1.095 million tons in the first two months of 2013 to 1.527 million tons in the same 2014 period, a 39.5 percent increase.