US Stainless imports up 4%

Despite USD President Bush’s action last March to stem foreign steel imports into the US, total stainless steel imports increased by 4% in the first nine months of this year compared to the same 2001 period. According to data released by the Specialty Steel Industry of North America (SSINA), US producers of stainless steel sheet/strip and stainless steel plate –products not covered by the President’s import relief action – were particularly hard hit. Year-to-date imports of stainless steel sheet/strip reached 222,166 tons in September 2002, a 12% increase over last year. These imports took a 19% bite out of US market share compared to 17% in 2001. At 42,977 tons, stainless steel plate imports for the subject period increased 38% over last year, capturing 22% of the US market. This reflects a 4% increase in import penetration over 2001.
Imports of stainless steel bar, rod and wire, products subject to import relief tariffs, decreased. Nine-month import penetration, however, remained high at 41% for stainless steel bar and 67% for stainless steel rod.
Total specialty steel imports, which include stainless steel, alloy tool steel and electrical steel, decreased 3%. Nine-month import penetration for all specialty steel, however, did not change, remaining at 26%.

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