APRIL 2011

Steel import permits down

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 1,815,000 net tons (NT). This was a 13 percent decrease from the 2,081,000 permit tons recorded in January and an 11 percent decrease from the January preliminary imports total of 2,048,000 NT.

Import permit tonnage for finished steel in February was 1,368,000 NT, down 16 percent from the preliminary imports total of 1,632,000 NT in January but up 12 percent vs. February 2010 final imports. February 2011 total and finished steel import permit tons would annualize at 23,181,000 NT and 17,998,000 NT, down 3 percent and 5 percent, respectively, from the 23,929,000 NT and 18,857,000 NT imported in 2010.

In February, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for Korea (161,000 NT, down 25 percent from January), Japan (128,000 NT, up 2 percent), Germany (70,000 NT, down 11 percent) and Turkey (64,000 NT, up 168 percent). The estimated finished steel import market share in February was 18 percent.

Finished steel import permits for major products that registered large increases in February vs. the January preliminary include reinforcing bar (up 54 percent) and wire drawn (up 10 percent).