In 2018, US steel product consumption rose by 2.7% to 99 million tonnes, up from 96 million tonnes in 2017. Demand for flat products improved by 2.9%, at the same time demand for tubular products decreased by 2.8%. The North American rail market remained firm at the level of 1.0 million tonnes in the period. The oil country tubular goods (OCTG) market declined in 2018 with Canadian consumption estimated at 0.7 million tonnes compared with 0.8 million tonnes in 2017. The large-diameter pipe (LDP) market remained stable at the level of 1 million tonnes.
Imports of finished steel products fell by 10% year-on-year to 23 million tonnes as a result of the 25% Section 232 tariffs enacted by the US. Due to strong demand and the influence of trading barriers, prices surged by 36% to US$1004 per tonne for plate, by 17% to US$765 per tonne for rebar and by 18% to US$1449 per tonne for OCTG.