Steel import permit applications decrease from prior month
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 February totaled 2,329,000 net tons (NT). This was an 8 percent
decrease from the 2,534,000 permit tons recorded in January 2008, and
a 12 percent decrease from the January preliminary imports total of 2,658,000
NT. Import permit tonnage for finished steel in February was 1,849,000
NT, a decrease of 16 percent from the preliminary imports of 2,197,000
NT in January. For the first two months of 2008 (February SIMA and January
preliminary), total steel imports annualize at 29.9 million NT, 10 percent
below the 2007 12-month total.
For February 2008, the largest finished steel import
permit applications for offshore countries were for China (222,000 NT),
Korea (156,000 NT), Japan (97,000 NT), Germany (87,000 NT) and India
(83,000 NT). Finished steel import permit applications for Chinese steel
declined 18 percent in February compared to January preliminary imports.
Product categories that have increased in the first two months of 2008
vs. the same period in 2007 include: line pipe (up 59 percent), heavy
structural shapes (up 18 percent) and hot rolled sheets (up 7 percent).