Imports increased in July over June by 4.1% based on preliminary reporting. ‘Import arrivals in July remained modest due to the weak dollar, high freight rates and competitive prices in other international markets,’ said David Phelps, president, AIIS.’ Given low inventory levels, domestic producers continue to enjoy high prices and strong profitability.’ ‘With recent data on second quarter real GDP growth at 3.3%, along with strong exports of manufactured products, the strengthening dollar and several strong steel markets such as energy, we look forward to slowly improving conditions for imports in the months to come, said Phelps.

Total Steel imports in July 2008 were 2.84 million tons compared to 2.73 million tons in June 2008, a 4.1% increase, but a 13.6% decrease compared to July 2007. According to year-to-date figures, imports decreased 11.1% compared to 2007 or from 21.1 million tons in 2007 to 18.8 million tons in 2008. The data show that imported semi-finished products decreased by 17.9% in July 2008 as compared to July 2007. For the year-to-date period, semi-finished imports decreased from 4.11 million tons in 2007 to 3.95 million tons in 2008, a 3.9% decrease, based on preliminary reporting.