MARCH 2012

Total steel import permits up 21 percent in January 2012
Import market share at 23 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 total steel import permit applications for the month of January totaled 2,691,000 net tons (NT). This was a 21 percent increase from the 2,230,000 permit tons recorded in December and a 35 percent increase from the December preliminary imports total of 1,997,000 NT. Import permit tonnage for finished steel in January was 2,103,000 NT, up 39 percent from the preliminary imports total of 1,510,000 NT in December. January 2012 total and finished steel import permit tons would annualize at 32,295,000 NT and 25,232,000 NT, up 14 percent and 16 percent, respectively, versus the 28,448,000 NT and 21,871,000 NT imported in 2011. The estimated finished steel import market share in January was 23 percent.

In January, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for Korea (358,000 NT, up 78 percent from December), Turkey (184,000 NT, up 179 percent), Japan (150,000 NT, up 45 percent), Germany (105,000 NT, up 25 percent) and China (95,000 NT, up 10 percent).

Finished steel import permits for products that registered large increases in January versus the December preliminary include reinforcing bar (up 214 percent), heavy structural shapes (up 177 percent), cold rolled sheets (up 69 percent), cut length plates (up 68 percent), line pipe (up 64 percent), oil country goods (up 44 percent), standard pipe (up 43 percent) and sheets and strip all other metallic coated (up 34 percent).