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FACT SHEET

STEEL IMPORTS FOR May 2004

Increased 3.8 PERCENT FROM April 2004

June 29, 2004

Newly released preliminary government figures covering steel imports for the month of May 2004 show that steel imports increased 2.3 percent from April 2004 levels.

Total Steel Mill Products                                    

The preliminary data released today show that overall steel imports in May 2004 increased 3.8 percent compared to April 2004.   The increase in May =s total amount of steel imports was due primarily to an increase in imports of blooms, billets, and slabs and cold-rolled sheets.   May 2004 imports of finished steel products decreased 5.7 percent compared to April 2004, and imports of semi-finished steel increased 51.6 percent.    

May 2004 imports of steel mill products were up 35.6 percent compared to May 2003.   May 2004 imports of finished steel increased 30.5 percent compared to May 2003, while semi-finished steel products were increased 54.5 percent compared to May 2003.   January to May 2004 imports of steel mill products were up almost 15.8 percent compared to the same period in 2003.   January to May 2004 imports of finished steel were up 13.4 percent compared to the same period last year, while imports of semi-finished steel were up 25.6 percent.  

Hot-Rolled Steel

May 2004 imports of hot-rolled steel decreased 2.7 percent from their April 2004 levels and were up 25.8 percent compared to May 2003 levels.   January to May 2004 imports of hot-rolled steel were down 2.5 percent compared to the same period last year.

Cold-Rolled Steel

May 2004 imports of cold-rolled steel increased 70.3 percent compared to April 2004 levels and were up 68.5 percent compared to May 2003 levels.   January to May 2004 imports of cold-rolled steel were down 9.7 percent compared to the same period last year.

Cut-to-Length Plate

May 2004 imports of cut-to-length plate decreased 39 percent compared to April 2004.   May 2004 imports were up 9.1 percent compared to May 2003.   January to May 2004 imports of cut-to-length plate were up 5.5 percent compared to the same period last year.   

Corrosion-Resistant Steel

May 2004 imports of corrosion-resistant steel decreased 1.9 percent compared to April 2004.   May 2004 imports of these products were up 43.7 percent compared to May 2003.   January to May 2004 imports of corrosion-resistant steel were down 13.1 percent compared to the same period last year.

Wire Rod

May 2004 imports of wire rod decreased 18.4 percent compared to April 2004 levels, and were up 96.7 percent compared to May 2003 levels.   January to May 2004 imports of wire rod were up 66.7 percent compared to the same period last year.

Heavy Structurals

May 2004 imports of heavy structurals increased 39.4 percent from their April 2004 level and were up 3.5 percent compared to May 2003 levels.   January to May 2004 imports of heavy structurals were up 20.4 percent compared to the same period last year.  

Rebar

May 2004 imports of rebar decreased 8.8 percent compared to April 2004.   May 2004 imports of these products were up 303.8 percent compared to May 2003.   January to May 2004 imports of rebar were up 109   percent compared to the same period last year.

Hot-Rolled Bar

May 2004 imports of hot-rolled bar increased 28.7 percent compared to April 2004 and were down 18.3 percent compared to May 2003 levels.   January to May 2004 imports of hot-rolled bar were up 10.9 percent compared to the same period last year.

Standard Pipe

May 2004 imports of standard pipe decreased 26.9 percent compared to April 2004.   May 2004 imports of these products were up 1.1 percent compared to May 2003, and January to May 2004 imports of standard pipe were up 11.6 percent compared to the same period last year.  

Oil Country Tubular Goods (OCTG)

May 2004 imports of OCTG decreased 23.1 percent compared to April 2004.   May 2004 imports of these products were down 0.8 percent compared to May 2003.   January to May 2004 imports of OCTG were up 42.7 percent compared to the same period last year.  

Semi-Finished Steel

May 2004 imports of semi-finished steel increased 51.6 percent compared to April 2004 but were up 54.5 percent compared to May 2003 levels.   January to May 2004 imports of semi-finished steel were up 25.6 percent compared to the same period last year.

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 May 2004 increased 4.9 percent from their April 2004 levels and were up 44.4 percent compared to May 2003 levels.   January to May 2004 imports of these products were up almost 18.5 percent compared to the same period last year.

Carbon Hot-Rolled Steel - Imports of carbon hot-rolled steel in May 2004 decreased 1.6 percent compared to April 2004 and were up 24.6 percent compared to May 2003 levels.   January to May imports of these products were down 5.2 percent compared to the same period last year.

Carbon Cold-Rolled Steel - Imports of carbon cold-rolled steel in May 2004 increased 4.4 percent compared to April 2004.   May 2004 imports were increased 83.1 percent compared to May 2003.   January to May imports of these products were down 13.8 percent compared to the same period last year.

Alloy Steel

Overall imports of alloy steel products in May 2004 decreased 4.5 percent compared to April 2004 and were down 5.1 percent compared to May 2003 levels.   January to May 2004 imports of these products were up 2.9 percent compared to the same period last year.  

Tool Steel - Imports of tool steel in May 2004 decreased 10.4 percent compared to April 2004.   May 2004 imports were down 21.7 percent compared to May 2003.   January to May imports of these products were down 19.1 percent compared to the same period last year.

Stainless Steel                

Overall imports of stainless steel products in May 2004 increased 7.1 percent from their April 2004 level and were up 22.2 percent compared to May 2003 levels.   January to May 2004 imports of these products were up 6.6 percent compared to the same period last year.

Stainless Hot-Rolled Steel - Imports of stainless hot-rolled steel in May 2004 increased 91.3 percent compared to April 2004.   May 2004 imports were up 372.2 percent compared to May 2003.   January to May imports of these products were up 88.2 percent compared to the same period last year.

Stainless Cold-Rolled Steel - Imports of stainless cold-rolled steel in May 2004 decreased 8.3 percent compared to April 2004.   May 2004 imports were up 21.5 percent compared to May 2003.   January to May imports of these products were up 9.3 percent compared to the same period last year.

Stainless Hot-Rolled Bars - Imports of stainless hot-rolled bars in May 2004 increased 12.1 percent compared to April 2004 and were up 111 percent compared to May 2003 levels.   January to May imports of these products were up 47.5 percent compared to the same period last year.                                                           

Stainless Cold-Finished Bars - Imports of stainless cold-finished bars in May 2004 decreased 16 percent compared to April 2004.   May 2004 imports were down 10.1 percent compared to May 2003.   January to May imports of these products were down 9.9 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 May statistics next month.   June 2004 preliminary figures will be released on July 27, 2004.

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