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FACT SHEET

1999 Steel Imports Down 14 Percent Compared to 1998

January 31, 2000

Newly released preliminary government figures covering steel imports show that 1999 steel imports decreased 14 percent compared to 1998. The same figures show that December 1999 imports increased approximately 2 percent compared to November 1999.

Total Steel Mill Products

Steel imports remain significantly below last year's surge levels. The preliminary data released today show that overall steel imports in 1999 were 14 percent below 1998 import levels and 14 percent above 1997. Imports of finished steel products fell further, down 22 percent compared to 1998 levels and up 9 percent compared to 1997. Steel imports in December 1999 increased 2 percent compared to November 1999 primarily due to increases in imports of semifinished steel, wire rods and heavy structurals.

Hot-Rolled Steel

1999 imports of hot-rolled steel, which were the subject of recently completed antidumping and countervailing duty cases, are down 43 percent compared to 1998, and 1 percent compared to 1997. 1999 imports from the three investigated countries (Japan, Russia and Brazil) down 98 percent compared to 1998. December imports of hot-rolled steel decreased 4 percent compared to November.

Cold-Rolled Steel

1999 imports of cold-rolled steel, the subject of 13 ongoing antidumping and countervailing duty cases, are down 15 percent compared to 1998 and 7 percent compared to 1997. December imports of cold-rolled steel decreased 1 percent compared to November and are down 44 percent compared to December 1998.

Cut-to-Length Plate

1999 imports of cut-to-length plate, the subject of 11 ongoing antidumping and countervailing duty cases, are down almost 57 percent compared to 1998 and 34 percent compared to 1997. December 1999 imports of these products decreased 1 percent compared to November and are down approximately 59 percent from December 1998.

Wire Rod

1999 imports of wire rod are up approximately 17 percent compared to 1998 and 24 percent compared to 1997. December imports of wire rod increased 19 percent compared to November. December imports of these products are up 8 percent compared to December 1998 and 68 percent compared to December 1997. These products are the subject of an ongoing section 201 proceeding.

Heavy Structurals

1999 imports of heavy structurals are down 49 percent compared to 1998 but up 37 percent compared to 1997. December imports of heavy structurals increased 79 percent compared to November but are down 36 percent compared to December 1998. These products are the subject of current antidumping and countervailing duty investigations.

Semifinished Steel

1999 imports of semifinished steel are up 26 percent compared to 1998 and 34 percent compared to 1997. Overall imports of semifinished steel in December 1999 increased 23 percent compared to November. December 1999 imports of these products are up 81 percent compared to December 1998 and 101 percent compared to December 1997.

These figures are being provided on an expedited basis and will continue to be released on this schedule each month, consistent with the President's steel action program of August 5, 1999. 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 preliminary figures will be released on February 25, 2000.

Note: With November's release, 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 grand totals for these product categories were not affected. This revisions have been incorporated into this fact sheet and the accompanying data tables.

Detailed reports containing the 1998 and January to June 1999 revisions are available on the Census Bureau web site (www.census.gov/foreign-trade).

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