Korea’s steel imports are on a rapid decline, mainly due to the ongoing recession in the domestic shipbuilding industry.
According to the Korea Iron & Steel Association, the imports decreased by 9.9 percent and 10.7 percent from a year ago and a month ago in Sept., to 1.774 million tons, respectively. The cumulative total for the first three quarters of this year decreased 2.8 percent from a year earlier to 165.52 million tons, too. Since the beginning of this year, the imports have continued to decline year-on-year except in March, July, and Aug.
By item, those of hot-rolled steel, thick plates, and zinc-coated steel sheets showed a significant decline in particular. The imports of hot-rolled steel from China and Japan fell 2.0 percent and 13.8 percent year-on-year, dragging down total imports by 8.6 percent to 507,000 tons. When it comes to thick plates, which are closely related to the shipbuilding industry, imports recorded a 48.7 percent year-on-year decrease to 171,000 tons.
In the meantime, Clarksons Research recently announced that Korean shipbuilders won orders worth US$2.162 billion for 33 ships having a combined capacity of 1,070,729 CGTs last month, ranking third in the world behind Chinese and Japanese companies.