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FACT SHEET

STEEL IMPORTS FOR DECEMBER 2003
DECREASED 11 PERCENT FROM NOVEMBER 2003


January 27, 2004

Newly released preliminary government figures covering steel imports for the month of December 2003 show that steel imports decreased 11 percent from November 2003 levels.

Total Steel Mill Products

The preliminary data released today show that overall steel imports in December 2003 decreased 11 percent compared to November 2003. The decrease in December's total amount of steel imports was due primarily to a decrease in imports of blooms, billets, and slabs. December 2003 imports of finished steel products decreased 6 percent compared to November 2003, while imports of semi-finished steel fell 25 percent.

December 2003 imports of steel mill products were down 41 percent compared to December 2002. December 2003 imports of finished steel were down 42 percent compared to December 2002, while semi-finished steel products were down 38 percent compared to December 2002. January to December 2003 imports of steel mill products were down 29 percent compared to the same period in 2002. January to December 2003 imports of finished steel were down 23 percent compared to the same period last year, while imports of semi-finished steel were down 46 percent.

Hot-Rolled Steel

December 2003 imports of hot-rolled steel increased 35 percent from their November 2003 levels and were down 65 percent compared to December 2002 levels. January to December 2003 imports of hot-rolled steel were down 40 percent compared to the same period last year.

Cold-Rolled Steel

December 2003 imports of cold-rolled steel decreased 2 percent compared to November 2003 levels and were down 44 percent compared to December 2002 levels. January to December 2003 imports of cold-rolled steel were down 29 percent compared to the same period last year.

Cut-to-Length Plate

December 2003 imports of cut-to-length plate decreased 13 percent compared to November 2003. December 2003 imports were down 53 percent compared to December 2002. January to December 2003 imports of cut-to-length plate were down 33 percent compared to the same period last year.

Corrosion-Resistant Steel

December 2003 imports of corrosion-resistant steel increased 1 percent compared to November 2003. December 2003 imports of these products were down 47 percent compared to December 2002. January to December 2003 imports of corrosion-resistant steel were down 24 percent compared to the same period last year.

Wire Rod

December 2003 imports of wire rod decreased 13 percent compared to November 2003 levels and were up 64 percent compared to December 2002 levels. January to December 2003 imports of wire rod were down38 percent compared to the same period last year.

Heavy Structurals

December 2003 imports of heavy structurals increased 41 percent from their November 2003 level and were up 4 percent compared to December 2002 levels. January to December 2003 imports of heavy structurals were down 25 percent compared to the same period last year.

Rebar

December 2003 imports of rebar fell 45 percent compared to November 2003. December 2003 imports of these products were up 37 percent compared to December 2002. January to December 2003 imports of rebar were down 20 percent compared to the same period last year.

Hot-Rolled Bar

December 2003 imports of hot-rolled bar increased 17 percent compared to November 2003 and were up 23 percent compared to December 2002 levels. January to December 2003 imports of hot-rolled bar were down 5 percent compared to the same period last year.

Standard Pipe

December 2003 imports of standard pipe decreased 23 percent compared to November 2003. December 2003 imports of these products were down 12 percent compared to December 2002, and January to December 2003 imports of standard pipe were down 10 percent compared to the same period last year.

Oil Country Tubular Goods (OCTG)

December 2003 imports of OCTG decreased 51 percent compared to November 2003. December 2003 imports of these products were up 59 percent compared to December 2002. January to December 2003 imports of OCTG were up 54 percent compared to the same period last year.

Semi-Finished Steel

December 2003 imports of semi-finished steel decreased 25 percent compared to November 2003 and were down 38 percent compared to December 2002 levels. January to December 2003 imports of semi-finished steel were down 46 percent compared to the same period last year.

EXPANDED BREAKOUT BY GRADE

Since May the U.S. Census Bureau (Census) expanded its early release of steel import data to include separate breakouts for carbon, alloy and stainless steel in each of the product categories. The following lists some of the highlights from these new breakouts:

Carbon Steel

Overall imports of carbon steel products in December 2003 decreased 9 percent from their November 2003 levels and were down 44 percent compared to December 2003 levels. January to December 2003 imports of these products were down 32 percent compared to the same period last year.

Carbon Hot-Rolled Steel - Imports of carbon hot-rolled steel in December 2003 increased 35 percent compared to November 2003 and were down 69 percent compared to December 2002 levels. January to December imports of these products were down 42 percent compared to the same period last year.

Carbon Cold-Rolled Steel - Imports of carbon cold-rolled steel in December 2003 decreased 5 percent compared to November 2003. December 2003 imports were down 55 percent compared to December 2002. January to December imports of these products were down 37 percent compared to the same period last year.

Alloy Steel

Overall imports of alloy steel products in December 2003 decreased 23percent compared to November 2003 and were down 25 percent compared to December 2002 levels. January to December 2003 imports of these products were down 12 percent compared to the same period last year.

Tool Steel - Imports of tool steel in December 2003 increased 10 percent compared to November 2003. December 2003 imports were down 11 percent compared to December 2002. January to December imports of these products were up15 percent compared to the same period last year.

Stainless Steel

Overall imports of stainless steel products in December 2003 increased 16 percent from their November 2003 level and were down 3 percent compared to December 2002 levels. January to December 2003 imports of these products were down 15 percent compared to the same period last year.

Stainless Hot-Rolled Steel - Imports of stainless hot-rolled steel in December 2003 decreased 25 percent compared to November 2003. December 2003 imports were up 26 percent compared to December 2002. January to December imports of these products were down 3 percent compared to the same period last year.

Stainless Cold-Rolled Steel - Imports of stainless cold-rolled steel in December 2003 increased 5 percent compared to November 2003. December 2003 imports were up 10 percent compared to December 2002. January to December imports of these products were up 5 percent compared to the same period last year.

Stainless Hot-Rolled Bars - Imports of stainless hot-rolled bars in December 2003 increased 28 percent compared to November 2003 and were down 21 percent compared to December 2002 levels. January to December imports of these products were down 23 percent compared to the same period last year.

Stainless Cold-Finished Bars - Imports of stainless cold-finished bars in December 2003 decreased 14 percent compared to November 2003. December 2003 imports were down 40 percent compared to December 2002. January to December imports of these products were down 20 percent compared to the same period last year.

These figures are being provided on an expedited basis and will continue to be released on this schedule each month. The data released today are preliminary and are likely to change somewhat between now and the release of the final December statistics next month. January 2004 preliminary figures will be released on February 24, 2004.

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