April 2008

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).