MARCH 2009

Steel import permits up 12%

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 January totaled 2,233,000 net tons (NT). This was a 10 percent increase from the 2,030,000 permit tons recorded in December 2008, and a 12 percent increase from the December preliminary imports total of 1,987,000 NT. Import permit tonnage for finished steel in January was 2,035,000 NT, an increase of 15 percent from the preliminary imports total of 1,771,000 NT in December. January 2009 total and finished steel import permit tons would annualize at 26,801,000 NT and 24,422,000 NT, down 16 and 6 percent, respectively, from the 31,847,000 NT and 25,876,000 NT imported in 2008.

In January 2009, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for China (404,000 NT), South Korea (274,000 NT), Japan (149,000 NT) and Turkey (113,000 NT).

Major finished steel import products that registered large increases in January vs. the December preliminary include Reinforcing Bars (up 370 percent), Heavy Structural Shapes (up 319 percent), Cold Rolled Sheets (up 42 percent), Hot Rolled Bars (up 35 percent), and Line Pipe (up 33 percent).