February SIMA import permits down five 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 steel import permit applications for the month of February total 2,558,000 net tons (NT). This was a 5 percent decrease from the 2,692,000 permit tons recorded in January and down 0.8 percent from the January preliminary imports total of 2,579,000 NT. Import permit tonnage for finished steel in February was 1,937,000, down 8 percent from the preliminary imports total of 2,106,000 in January.
Finished steel imports with large increases in February permits vs. the January preliminary included cut length plates (up 65 percent), plates in coils (up 29 percent), standard rails (up 29 percent) and sheets and strip all other metallic coatings (up 19 percent). Major products with significant year-to-date (YTD) increases vs. the same period in 2012 include sheets and strip galvanized hot dipped (up 24 percent), line pipe (up 20 percent) and wire drawn (up 17 percent).
In February, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for South Korea (296,000 NT, down 15 percent from January), Turkey (144,000 NT up 9 percent), Japan (134,000 NT, down 3 percent), China (119,000 NT, down 28 percent) and Germany (100,000 NT, up 36 percent). Through the first two months of 2013, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (645,000 NT, down 1 percent from the same period in 2012), China (284,000 NT, up 50 percent) and Turkey (276,000 NT, down 21 percent).