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FACT SHEET

STEEL IMPORTS FOR FEBRUARY 2003
DECREASED 34.6 PERCENT FROM JANUARY 2003

March 25, 2003

Newly released preliminary government figures covering steel imports for the month of February 2003 show that steel imports decreased 34.6 percent from January 2003 levels.

Total Steel Mill Products

The preliminary data released today show that overall steel imports in February 2003 decreased 34.6 percent compared to January 2003. The decrease in February's total amount of steel imports was due primarily to a decrease in imports of blooms, billets, and slabs; hot rolled sheets; and wire rods. February 2003 imports of finished steel products decreased 51 percent compared to January 2003, while imports of semi-finished steel decreased 74.5 percent.

February 2003 imports of steel mill products were down 51 percent compared to February 2002. February 2003 imports of finished steel were down 39.4 percent compared to February 2002, and semi-finished steel products were down 74.5 percent compared to February 2002. January to February 2003 imports of steel mill products were down 34.6 percent compared to the same period in 2002. January to February 2003 imports of finished steel were down 31 percent compared to the same period last year, while imports of semi-finished steel down 47.7 percent.

Hot-Rolled Steel

February 2003 imports of hot-rolled steel decreased 44.8 percent from their January 2003 levels and down 36.5 percent compared to February 2002 levels. January to February 2003 imports of hot-rolled steel were up 7.6 percent compared to the same period last year.
Cold-Rolled Steel

February 2003 imports of cold-rolled steel decreased 17 percent compared to January 2003 levels and decreased 27.4 percent compared to February 2002 levels. January to February 2003 imports of cold-rolled steel decreased 26.1 percent compared to the same period last year.


Cut-to-Length Plate

February 2003 imports of cut-to-length plate decreased 30 percent compared to January 2003. February 2003 imports decreased 54.1 percent compared to February 2002. January to February 2003 imports of cut-to-length plate decreased 47.4 percent compared to the same period last year.

Corrosion-Resistant Steel

February 2003 imports of corrosion-resistant steel decreased 22.6 percent compared to January 2003. February 2003 imports of these products decreased 27.1 percent compared to February 2002. January to February 2003 imports of corrosion-resistant steel decreased 10.4 percent compared to the same period last year.

Wire Rod

February 2003 imports of wire rod decreased 52.8 percent compared to January 2003 levels and decreased 38.2 percent compared to February 2002 levels. January to February 2003 imports of wire rod decreased 22.3 percent compared to the same period last year.

Heavy Structurals

February 2003 imports of heavy structurals decreased 37.8 percent from their January 2003 level and were down 33 percent compared to February 2002 levels. January to February 2003 imports of heavy structurals were down 34.3 percent compared to the same period last year.

Rebar

February 2003 imports of rebar decreased 46.1 percent compared to January 2003. February 2003 imports of these products decreased 81.6 percent compared to February 2002. January to February 2003 imports of rebar decreased 64.6 percent compared to the same period last year.

Hot-Rolled Bar

February 2003 imports of hot-rolled bar decreased 35.6 percent compared to January 2003 and decreased 30.7 percent compared to February 2002 levels. January to February 2003 imports of hot-rolled bar decreased 8.8 percent compared to the same period last year.

Standard Pipe

February 2003 imports of standard pipe increased 35.7 percent compared to January 2003. February 2003 imports of these products decreased 31 percent compared to February 2002, and January to February 2003 imports of standard pipe decreased 35 percent compared to the same period last year.

Oil Country Tubular Goods (OCTG)

February 2003 imports of OCTG increased 8.7 percent compared to January 2003. February 2003 imports of these products increased 31.5 percent compared to February 2002. January to February 2003 imports of OCTG were down 16.6 percent compared to the same period last year.

Semi-Finished Steel

February 2003 imports of semi-finished steel decreased 47.7 percent compared to January 2003 and decreased 74.5 percent compared to February 2002 levels. January to February 2003 imports of semi-finished steel decreased 54.5 percent compared to the same period last year. Imports of these products are used by U.S. steel companies to produce finished products.

EXPANDED BREAKOUT BY GRADE

Since May 2001 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 February 2003 decreased 38.2 percent from their January 2003 levels and decreased 54.3 percent compared to February 2002 levels. January to February 2003 imports of these products decreased 32.2 percent compared to the same period last year.

Carbon Hot-Rolled Steel - Imports of carbon hot-rolled steel in February 2003 decreased 44.8 percent compared to January 2003 and decreased 35.5 percent compared to February 2002 levels. January to February imports of these products were up 10.4 percent compared to the same period last year.

Carbon Cold-Rolled Steel - Imports of carbon cold-rolled steel in February 2003 decreased 27.3 percent compared to January 2003. February 2003 imports decreased 40.4 percent compared to February 2002. January to February imports of these products decreased 29.1 percent compared to the same period last year.

Alloy Steel

Overall imports of alloy steel products in February 2003 decreased 16.6 percent compared to January 2003 and decreased 30.2 percent compared to February 2002 levels. January to February 2003 imports of these products decreased 26.1 percent compared to the same period last year.

Tool Steel - Imports of tool steel in February 2003 decreased 1.2 percent compared to January 2003. February 2003 imports decreased 4.6 percent compared to February 2002. January to February imports of these products were up 7 percent compared to the same period last year.

Stainless Steel

Overall imports of stainless steel products in February 2003 decreased 2.6 percent from their January 2003 level and decreased 32.1 percent compared to February 2002 levels. January to February 2003 imports of these products decreased 27.2 percent compared to the same period last year.

Stainless Hot-Rolled Steel - Imports of stainless hot-rolled steel in February 2003 increased 14.8 percent compared to January 2003. February 2003 imports decreased 57.8 percent compared to February 2002. January to February imports of these products decreased 60.6 percent compared to the same period last year.

Stainless Cold-Rolled Steel - Imports of stainless cold-rolled steel in February 2003 increased 8.7 percent compared to January 2003. February 2003 imports increased 28.3 percent compared to February 2002. January to February imports of these products increased 16.4 percent compared to the same period last year.

Stainless Hot-Rolled Bars - Imports of stainless hot-rolled bars in February 2003 decreased 13.5 percent compared to January 2003 and were down 53.6 percent compared to February 2002 levels. January to February imports of these products decreased 57.2 percent compared to the same period last year.

Stainless Cold-Finished Bars - Imports of stainless cold-finished bars in February 2003 decreased 35.1 percent compared to January 2003. February 2003 imports were down 25.2 percent compared to February 2002. January to February imports of these products were down 20.1 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 February statistics next month. March 2003 preliminary figures will be released on April 29, 2003.

Note: Census issued revisions to certain country totals within product categories for 1998 and the first six months of 1999. Only individual country totals within certain product categories were affected by these revisions; the overall totals for these product categories were not affected. These revisions have been incorporated into this fact sheet and the accompanying tables. Detailed reports containing the revisions to the data for 1998 and the period January to June 1999 are available on the Census Bureau web site.

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