Import permit applications decline by 11 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 totaled 1,386,000 net tons (NT). This was an 11 percent decrease from both the 1,561,000 permit tons recorded in October 2009 and the October preliminary imports total of 1,560,000 NT.

Import permit tonnage for finished steel in November was 957,000 NT, which was a decrease of 19 percent from the October preliminary imports total of 1,177,000 NT. November 2009 total and finished steel import permit tons would annualize at 16,089,000 NT and 14,102,000 NT, down 50 percent and 46 percent, respectively, from the 31,927,000 NT and 25,956,000 NT imported in 2008

In November 2009, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for Korea (101,000 NT, down 1 percent from October), the Netherlands (70,000 NT, up 11 percent), China (61,000 NT, up 24 percent), Japan (54,000 NT, down 40 percent) and Italy (54,000 NT, up 14 percent). Finished steel import market share in November is estimated at 15 percent and at 21 percent year-to-date.

While finished steel import permits in November were down overall, six finished product categories registered an increase.