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Imported heavy metal

Brazil, South Korea and Mexico made up the top three sources of U.S. steel imports as of Sept. 30. The top 10 sources of U.S. imports of steel, in varied product forms, made up 78% of total imports at the end of the third quarter of 2017. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration, the U.S. was the largest importer of steel in the period, bringing in about 26.9 metric tons while exporting about 9.6 million metric tons.

Domestic demand for steel declined from 2014 through the end of 2016, according to the most recent data from the World Steel Association, to 102.6 million metric tons from 121.6 million metric tons. Prior to 2014's high, U.S. demand for steel peaked at 134 million metric tons in 2006.