Imports increased 18.6% in July compared to June according to preliminary government reporting. ‘The increased arrivals in July over June reflect improved market conditions in the second quarter when prices were strengthening and lead times stretching out at domestic mills for some products, including oil and gas related products’ said David Phelps, president, AIIS.

‘The increase in the year to date period in 2010 compared to 2009 was 25.7% or 2.47 million tons. While the product mix for imports has clearly shifted from 2009, it is interesting to note that the total increase in semifinished steel imported by domestic mills was also 2.47 million tons, representing 99.9% of the total increase during the year so far in 2010 compared to 2009,’ concluded Phelps.

Total Steel imports in July 2010 were 2.4 million tons compared to 2.035 million’tons in June 2010, a 18.6%‘increase, and a 143.6% increase compared to July 2009. According to year-to-date figures, imports increased 25.7% compared to 2009 or from 9.6 million tons in 2009 to 12.1 million tons in 2010. The data show that imported semifinished products increased by 512.1% in July 2010 as compared to July 2009. For the year-to-date period, semifinished imports increased from 668 thousand tons in 2009 to 3.135 thousand tons in 2010, a 369.4% increase, based on preliminary reporting.