Steel import permit applications down 14 percent

Based on the Commerce Department’s most recent Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported that steel import permit applications for the month of November 2007 totaled 2,287,000 net tons (NT).

This was a 14 percent decrease from the 2,665,000 permit tons recorded in October 2007, a 15 percent decrease from the October preliminary imports total of 2,700,000 NT and 14 percent lower than the 2005 monthly average (2006 was an all-time record year for imports).

Import permit tonnage for finished steel in November 2007 was 1,914,000 NT, equal to the preliminary imports of 1,913,000 NT in October. Year-to-date in 2007 (11-month total, including November SIMA data) finished steel imports remain 8 percent higher than the same period in 2005.

For November 2007, the largest volumes of steel import permit applications for countries outside of North America were China (316,000 NT), Korea (152,000 NT) and Japan (102,000 NT). Finished steel import permit applications for Chinese steel (316,000 NT) were up 4 percent in November compared to the preliminary imports total for October. This tonnage for China, while still below the 2006 record tonnage amounts that occurred in the second half of last year, was 65 percent higher than the 2005 monthly average of 192,000 NT for China.